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Jules Bianchi's family starts legal action over Suzuka crash

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Jules Bianchi's family is launching legal action against the FIA, the Marussia F1 team and Formula One Management (FOM) over the accident which led to their son's death.

Bianchi passed away last July from the serious brain injury sustained in a heavy crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. In wet conditions, Bianchi lost control of his car under yellow flags, went off the track and hit a recovery vehicle trying to remove another car from the circuit. The official investigation into the crash cleared F1 chiefs of any wrongdoing and said Bianchi had "failed to slow sufficiently" under the yellow flags being displayed ahead of the crash site.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the family's law firm, Stewarts Law, claimed the accident was "avoidable" and confirmed it had sent pre-action letters to the FIA, Marussia and FOM ahead of plans to take legal action in the UK.

Julian Chamberlayne of Stewarts Law, who is representing the Bianchi family, said:

"Jules Bianchi's death was avoidable. The FIA Panel Inquiry Report into this accident made numerous recommendations to improve safety in Formula One but failed to identify where errors had been made which led to Jules' death. It was surprising and distressing to the Bianchi family that the FIA panel in its conclusions, whilst noting a number of contributing factors, blamed Jules.

"The Bianchi family are determined that this legal process should require those involved to provide answers and to take responsibility for any failings. This is important if current and future drivers are to have confidence that safety in the sport will be put first. If this had been the case in Suzuka, Jules Bianchi would most likely still be alive and competing in the sport he loved today."

Bianchi's father Phillipe said he was in search of the "truth" behind the events that led to his son's death.

"We seek justice for Jules, and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014. As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules' accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made."