Sh*t’s gonna hit the fan…

After a series of heart wrenching Facebook posts, PhilIppe Bianchi has posted this today:

Que chacun sache que si depuis un certain temps la Famille Bianchi est resté bien calme il n’en est rien notre petit jules nous donne chaque jour sa force et de belles actions vont etre menées jamais on ne l’oubliera et vous ces fans ces amis vous vous ferez toujours partis de son histoire rendez vous en Janvier pour la riposte

Here is my translation:

“Just so everyone knows, if for some time the Bianchi family has been serene, this is just an impression. Our little Jules gives us strength every day, and notable action will be taken. We will never forget him, and you his fans will always be part of his story. Rendezvous in January for our response”

We obviously don’t know what action is meant, but what is intriguing is the use of the word “riposte”.


20 thoughts on “Sh*t’s gonna hit the fan…

  1. Hello, good to see this blog still on going. Well I thought I should post this piece of BBC news here: “Michael Schumacher: Latest news not good, says Luca di Montezemolo” … “I have news and unfortunately it is not good,” Luca di Montezemolo told reporters on Thursday. However that is all that is being revealed, Nothing more.

    I am not sure where this all fits in along the post trauma prognosis curve. It has been about 2 years 2 months since Schumacher had his skiing accident.

  2. Not been here for a while, so greetings to all.
    I am reading Dr Henry Marsh’s excellent book “Do no harm” which gives a brilliant insight into the complexities of brain injury and the treatment thereof.
    The section on Trauma (Chapter 10) gives some insight into the problems encountered after a serious accident and thus maybe gives new insight into Michael Schumacher’s condition.
    Sobering stuff.

  3. The Bianchi family are now unlucky enough to be among the very small number of people who have personal experience of prolonged disorders of consciousness. This small number of course also includes Jean Todt, one of the very few people still in touch with the Schumacher family and whose son, Nicolas was Jules’ manager. Philippe Bianchi urged Schumacher to keep fighting and said there was always hope (although he didn’t appear to have any direct knowledge of Schumacher’s present condition). Would it make the Bianchis feel better if Schumacher did finally regain consciousness? Corinna has created the perfect environment for potential recovery by taking Michael home and protecting him from infection. She has used his wealth to protect him from the world. If there is any chance of long term recovery for someone in such as state maybe science and the fans could all learn from this in the end. Even if it was only activating a switch for yes/no (nobody has any illusions that Schumacher can make a functional recovery now) this might be of some comfort.

    The Bianchis can choose to try to take Todt and Piete to court and might well win but a better memorial might be doing something positive for the disabled (like Philippe Streiff – I wonder what has happened to him recently?)

    • I can’t disagree. Keep re-reading his statement, and sometimes I do think they’ll announce something “philanthropic”. Then that damned word “riposte” comes back. But in the grand scheme of things, you are totally right.

      • Maybe they’re planning some legal action, but against who? I hope it’s rather something like naming the next Manor car the JB16 or something like that – that would be an explanation for deferring whatever they’re planning until January.


        “Aujourd’hui je veux créer une fondation pour aider les jeunes pilotes qui n’ont pas d’argent, pas de soutien, à faire du kart et à grandir. Je sais que de nombreuses personnes sont prêtes à m’aider, que ce soit les sponsors ou les pilotes. Je suis sûr que je peux faire quelque chose pour Jules. C’est important pour moi”

        This interview is from september. Philippe Bianchi wants to create a foundation in order to help young kart drivers who have no money and no support.


    For those lacking both competence and character, it must be nice having a cushy job like Charlie’s where not only are you not held accountable for your gross ineptitude that results in a needless tragedy, but you then get to sit on a panel pontificating possible preventative measures to minimize the chances of such an accident recurring – except, of course, the most obvious solutions because that would cause old Charlie to implicate himself.

    To illustrate just how preposterous it is that Whiting is involved in any capacity with this investigation, imagine an air traffic controller falling asleep on the job causing two planes to almost collide and then, not only is (s)he not placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation, she becomes part of the investigation team!

    I’m just a fan of Jules, not a family member, yet I feel deeply insulted by this farce. I wonder how the Bianchi family feels…
    a) seeing Whiting on the panel
    b) hearing him say that there was no need for a safety car(!?!) and
    c) very subtly – and shamefully – shifting the blame onto Jules for the accident. From Autosport quoting Charlie…

    “There were some that didn’t slow down much and some slowed down a lot – and I don’t think we need to go into the detail of how much he slowed down relative to the others. Suffice to say, we do have that data. He did slow down and it is a matter of degree.”

    What a disgrace he is trying to blame the victim of his negligence.

    The indisputable fact is that if Charlie Whiting – who is responsible for the safety of both drivers and marshals – had deployed the SC the second the JCB truck was needed, Jules would not be lying in a hospital bed right now fighting for his life. Period. End of story.

    That Whiting refuses to accept/admit that fact is yet more proof that he is unfit to be Racing Director. As I stated in my first comment on this accident, this is NOT a case of hindsight being 20/20. Martin Brundle is just one of many ex drivers who has repeatedly stated that such an accident was just waiting to happen. Rather, this is a case of the person in charge of safety not having the common sense to do the safe thing.

    IMO, Charlie Whiting needs to be relieved of all duties relating to Formula One safety.


    Why do governing bodies so often wait until there is a tragic accident before implementing common sense changes? And why do they so often compound their negligence by grossly overreacting with silliness like grooved tires and Mickey Mouse chicanes that set the sport back for years?

    Sorry but this needs to be said: If Charlie Whiting lacks the common sense, courage, character or whatever he’s missing to not immediately deploy the safety car in wet conditions when a ~20 THOUSAND pound truck is removing an F1 car, he has NO BUSINESS being race director.

    LOL at him sitting there with his arms crossed, ~43 monitors and millions of dollars worth of technology but nothing inside him screaming “tragic accident just waiting to happen” when he sees a ~10 tonne JCB truck in the exact spot where a car just went off. He should be ashamed of himself and if he doesn’t have the good sense to resign he should be terminated. But we know that will never happen because he’s part of the “old boys” club and judging by Max and Bernie’s comments about the accident, they’ve alreadly begun to circle the wagons.

    Make no mistake, this is not a case of hindsight is 20/20. This is a case of an accident that has been publicly foreshadowed for decades by many drivers and fans. Jules Bianchi is lying in a hospital bed right now fighting for his life because the race director failed to exercise basic common sense while MILLIONS of us “couch potatoes” and “useless eaters” were mumbling to ourselves, “why the hell isn’t the safety car being deployed?”

    So, to answer the question, IMO, the safety car rules don’t need to be changed, the race dirctor needs to be changed, STAT. Since that’s not going to happen, then yes; Accident > Safety Car as JV suggested.

  6. Beware the fury of a patient man.
    John Dryden

    I strongly believe that when – not if – “The Big One” happens at the Indy 500 (Tony Renna type accident) or Monaco GP (car going airborne in the tunnel on lap 1, or hitting a building), it should be business as usual the very next year after paying our respects and seeing what non-kneejerk improvements – if any – can be made after conducting a thorough investigation.

    Why? Because everybody knows that racing is inherently dangerous. Fatalities like Villeneuve, Senna, and Simoncelli make me profoundly sad – I was 14 years old and cried like a baby when Gilles died – but the show must go on.

    Jules Bianchi’s fatality, on the other hand, makes me not just sad but angry because he did not have a fatal racing accident. What should have been a harmless spin into the barriers turned into a needless fatality because you-know-who saw nothing wrong with having a ~20,000 lb truck on the wrong side of the barriers during a wet race.

    “Definition of criminal negligence – (law) recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences)…”

    I sincerely hope the Bianchi family has a case and hires the most ruthless lawyer(s) possible so that the one(s) responsible are held accountable and forced to pay, whether in criminal and/or civil court. No, it won’t bring Jules back, but just on principle, NOBODY should be able to just walk away from such gross negligence resulting in the needless loss of life.

    I left the following two comments over a year ago on James Allen’s blog, and reading them again today, I still feel just as strongly…

  7. I have to say that if I was ever in the position that the family have faced I hope I could have acted with the same grace and dignity that they have shown. I fully support what ever action they decide to pursue and I hope they get the answers they are looking for

  8. The tone of this is very revealing – thanks for translation Gary. In the last interview with BBC in Sept Philippe Bianchi had said that he couldn’t bear to watch F1 any more. I knew that Jean Todt was paying medical bills and maybe the family feels abandoned since Jules’ death. My own personal feeling is that no intervention by anyone after the accident could possibly have changed the final outcome and that F1 was lucky that the initial injuries were so severe. Incompetence might well have made more of a difference in a less severe accident. I would think a suitable legacy would be giving the highest priority to the quality of all medical staff at race venues.

  9. Of course it’s impossible to make a diagnosis based on a video. That said, the blow to his head certainly could be concussive, and behaviorally he would appear to be concussed.

    American football has consistently been behind the curve in concussion management, and this may well be another example of that.

  10. People die in motor-racing. They have done since it started and, however hard we try to stop it, there will always be the bizarre, unpredictable incidents that take further lives. Tragic, yes, but also inevitable.
    Having got that off my chest, I am one of many who would agree that there are still a lot of unanswered questions about Jules’ crash that deserve a proper explanation. Nor should we as fans, or the F1 community in general, forget the sacrifice and pain of the Bianchi family. Jules’ parents and others have a right to the continued respect and care of the whole of motor-racing, and whatever they need to do to achieve that I wish them all the very best success.

  11. NFL must explain handling of Case Keenum’s apparent concussion

    Speaking of head injury, Doc, how do you feel about the handling of this NFL football player. There was a whole bunch of finger pointing, and “I didn’t see anything. Did you?”, in the aftermath. Hey these guys have more,,,well lots of cameras. Seems pretty obvious. What do you think? Seems careless.

  12. I have the most respect for the Bianchi family to go through losing a child is the biggest fear any parent has, to do so in the glare of global publicity is unimaginable. They must also feel, after the publishing of that “report” that the sport Jules died for has now turned their back on them. I wish them the strength to carry on

  13. Yes, I agree. Riposte is an interesting word… has a very ‘leading’ definition. I’d be very cautious and concerned up there in that Ivory Tower, Little Napoleon. Sh*t may very well hit the fan.

  14. I have the utmost respect for the Bianchi family. They have acted with such dignity throughout this horrific time. I’m not going into the whys and wherefore of what happened to Jules as we all know that what happened and more importantly, the aftermath with the report, was and is a complete travesty. I wish them strength for what’s to come. Forza Jules.

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