Bianchi development brings ray of light to gloomy F1

Jules Bianchi is out of a coma and breathing unaided. This is welcoming news for the Formula 1 paddock and its supporters, bringing a rare moment of happiness in what has been a dreary month for motor racings elite.

Bianchi still has a long way to go on his road to recovery, but these small steps are vital and have allowed for his transfer back to his native France. It has been almost seven weeks since his accident during the Japanese Grand Prix on October 5, and the Frenchman remains in a critical condition after suffering a diffuse axonal injury when his Marussia car ploughed into a trackside recovery vehicle in wet conditions at Suzuka.

Marussia competed at the Russian Grand Prix following Bianchi’s accident, but have pulled out of the Championship since due to financial difficulties. Bottom of the field competitors Caterham, also failed to make it to the American and Brazilian Grand Prix’s due to a lack of funding.

It has meant that the F1 grid has been four cars short for the last two race weekends, and the debate over financing has stolen the headlines. Midfield runners Force India, Lotus and Sauber were prepared to boycott the United States Grand Prix in Texas due to the way the sports finances are currently distributed.

It has left an unsettled feeling amongst drivers and teams, and there is a possibility that Formula 1 will have an even smaller grid in 2015. No decisions have been made yet, and Caterham have confirmed they will race again at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend after a successful, yet controversial, crowd funding initiative.

All eyes in Abu Dhabi will be on the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as they battle for the Drivers’ Championship title on Sunday. Hamilton leads his German counterpart by 17-points as they head into the season finale, where the controversial double points rule may become a defining factor.

If double points influence who walks away with the championship, it will only cause further controversy after being introduced by F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone in another attempt to drive dwindling audience figures. A second place finish for Britain’s most successful racer will be enough to claim his second Drivers’ title and prove the double points initiative irrelevant.

Picture Credit: Paul Williams

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