Jules Bianchi: One year on from the death that rocked F1

    jules bianchi death anniversary pkg_00012804
    jules bianchi death anniversary pkg_00012804


      Jules Bianchi's father: 'I cry every day'


    Jules Bianchi's father: 'I cry every day' 04:08

    Story highlights

    • July 17 marks one year since Jules Bianchi passed away
    • French driver suffered head injury at 2014 Japanese GP
    • Bianchi family taking legal action against racing authorities

    (CNN)The brightly colored crash helmet still sits on the lounge table -- his driver's suit hangs in the kitchen.

    It has been a year since Formula One driver Jules Bianchi died in an accident watched by millions across the world -- a year that has brought unimaginable pain to the Bianchi family.
      "Every day, every time I see his photography, I cry," his father Philippe Bianchi tells CNN's Amanda Davies.
      Sunday July 17 marks the anniversary when Jules succumbed to the horrendous injuries he suffered after a high-speed crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
      Phillipe has not watched the crash again -- he does not want to relive that moment. "To lose a child is not normal. For all the parents who lose children it's difficult," he says. "It's difficult for me. It's difficult for his mother. It's difficult for all."


      It was on October 5 2014 that Bianchi sustained a "diffuse axonal injury" after crashing into a recovery vehicle on the 43rd lap at Suzuka -- a potentially devastating type of brain injury which causes widespread tearing of nerve fibers across the whole of the brain, according to the UK brain injury charity, Headway.
      He was rushed to hospital by road -- the torrential rain making it too treacherous to travel by helicopter.
      Within an hour, Philippe was on the airplane to Japan.
      Not since Ayrton Senna's untimely death at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994 had the sport lost a driver -- the Brazilian three-time world champion losing his life just 24 hours after Austrian Roland Ratzenberger had died during qualifying at Imola.
      Portrait of Jules Bianchi.
      Philippe knew almost immediately after watching the crash that something had gone badly wrong.
      He had watched Jules career off the track at turn seven, slamming straight into a recovery vehicle as it attended another car.
      A phone call from Japan urged him to get on the airplane as soon as possible -- the prognosis was not good.

      Last conversation

      Just 24 hours earlier he had sent Jules his customary pre-race message.
      "I am with you -- tomorrow I am with you in your car," Philippe said.
      Bianchi did not respond. It was the first time he had not responded.
      "Perhaps he knew that he had a problem ..."
      F1's Jules Bianchi dies from crash injuries
      F1's Jules Bianchi dies from crash injuries


        F1's Jules Bianchi dies from crash injuries


      F1's Jules Bianchi dies from crash injuries 02:23
      Philippe was taken to Yokkaichi's Mie General Hospital, less 10 miles away from the Suzuka circuit upon landing, where he met with doctors.
      He recalls a frantic and hectic scene with his son on life support as doctors explained the severity of Jules' condition.
      For weeks Philippe and Jules' mother Christine remained in Japan sitting by their son's bedside.
      It was in November that he was brought out of his artificial coma and transported home to France where he passed away. He was 25.
      "He was a very, very beautiful son," Philippe said. "He was a good man, a good friend. I know this because friends speak with me and say how special he was."


      Jules had been signed up by Ferrari in its young drivers program before being loaned out to gain experience.
      Jules Bianchi's helmet.
      In 2011, he became a test and reserve driver for Ferrari before performing a similar role at Force India in 2012.
      It was in 2013 that he moved to Marussia where he produced a number of impressive drives -- including a ninth-place finish at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.
      That point, which Bianchi collected, was the only one Marussia claimed before it folded at the end of that season.

      Legal fight

      At his home in Nice, where the sun shines through and the beautiful color of the Mediterranean glistens, Philippe sits trying to hold back the tears.
      In the midst of a legal wrangle with the sport's authorities over his son's death and a personal battle to cope with his loss, he remains ensconced in grief.
      Now, he wants answers as to why his son died -- and why more wasn't done to protect him.
      In December 2014, the sport's world governing body, the FIA, published a report which stated that Bianchi "did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control" during his crash at the Suzuka circuit.
      In the days after the crash, Marussia said it was "shocked and angered" by claims Bianchi had not reduced his speed and that the team had actively encouraged him not to do so.
      According to the official 396-page report, Bianchi lost control of his Marussia before crashing into the 6.8-tonne recovery tractor just 2.61 seconds later at a speed of 78 mph.
      The findings angered Philippe who rejected the accusations that his son was responsible for the crash, and the Bianchi family feels more should have been done to prevent Jules' death.
      "I have lost the single-most important thing in my life and have nothing to lose," Philippe says of the decision to take legal action against the FIA, F1 and Marussia, which is now the Manor team.
      "I want the memory of Jules to be right. It's not possible for me and his mother to see people that say it was Jules' responsibility."
      The FIA, the Formula One Group and Manor did not immediately all failed to respond to CNN's request for a comment.
      Tributes were laid next to the Manor Marussia garage before the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix.


      To protect his son's legacy, the family set up the Jules Bianchi Foundation in April to support young kart racing drivers and help develop them into F1 drivers.
      The loss of his son, and indeed his uncle who was killed in an accident at Le Mans in 1969, has not deterred Philippe's involvement in motorsport.
      Even when Jules was in hospital, Philippe kept going back to the track and encouraging the next generation.
      Looking back now, would he have ever told his own son that becoming a driver in Formula One was too dangerous?
      "Impossible," he says. "When he was born, he was born to be a professional driver.
      "Perhaps today I think that some people prefer to have the life of Jules -- 25 years old when he died but a beautiful life," he says.
      "It is better than to live until 80 and to not have a beautiful life."