The Right Time to Retire a Number

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The number 17 of Jules Bianchi will never again be carried by another Formula 1 driver. FIA president Jean Todt has decided to retire the number from the Formula 1 World Championship in honor and in memory of Bianchi, who passed away in the early hours on Saturday, 18 July 2015.

This is absolutely the right time and context in which to do this.

Formula 1 adopted the current numbering system just last year, giving drivers their choice of any number they would carry with them for the remainder of their F1 careers at any team they may race for now and into the future. The idea came from the motorcycle Grand Prix circuit, MotoGP, where riders have their choice of number to use throughout their career. It is virtually impossible to distinguish the number 46 with anyone – not just in motorcycle racing, but in all of motorsport – but its greatest champion, Valentino Rossi. It is also a series that has tragically lost three of its riders in this millenium, each of whom were also very much inseparable from the numbers they chose to ride with. Continue reading “The Right Time to Retire a Number”

A Loss Too Great

I sit here typing away, with the never-ceasing dull pain in my heart and an emptiness in my soul the likes of which I have not felt in years, trying to express my feelings about the loss of a man who was only four months older than me, yet lived a life that was infinitely more fulfilling in the short time he was with us than I could ever hope to even if I lived a hundred years.

Jules Bianchi is gone. Well and truly gone after spending the last nine months in a comatose state for nine months, his family in an unimaginable scenario wherein his state of “living” – if you can even call it that – was described as “unbearable”, “a daily torture”, and “worse than if he had died” on the afternoon of October 5th, 2014, by his own father. And yet, as the weeks turned into months spent clinging to life, as the hope of a full recovery withered into nothing, then the hope of any sort of recovery died along with it, the confirmation of his death last night still caused me to break down as if it was a sudden instance.

I lost one of my favorite drivers in Formula 1. Continue reading “A Loss Too Great”