jules bianchi funeral
F1 drivers, friends and relatives carry the coffin of late Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral ceremony at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral in Nice, FranceReuters

The entire motor sport fraternity bid farewell to Formula One driver Jules Bianchi at the funeral held in his hometown of Nice on Tuesday.

Besides his friends, colleagues, teammates and family members, world champion Lewis Hamilton was also present, along with a host of other F1 drivers, as they mourned at a service in the Sainte Reparate Cathedral in France.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced that Bianchi's car number, 17, is being retired from F1 in his honour.

The FIA said in a statement earlier today: "As Formula 1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi's number 17. As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship."

Among the other F1 drivers attending the funeral were Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean and Olivier Panis.

Vettel, the four-time world champion, also helped carry Bianchi's coffin out of the cathedral at the end of the service, according to the AFP news agency.

Bianchi's father Philippe was even pictured weeping outside the city's cathedral as mourners including FIA president Jean Todt and former F1 star Alain Prost arrived.

A flashback to that fateful day at the Suzuka Circuit on 5 October reminds us of a young F1 driver who collided with a recovery tractor crane. And it was turned out to be one of the greatest tradegies in the motorsports history.

On lap 43 of the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, under intermittent heavy rainfall caused by the approaching Typhoon Phanfone, Marussia's Bianchi lost control of his car and veered right towards the run-off area on the outside of the Dunlop Curve to suffer the unfortunate crash.

The crash turned into a fatal tragedy, resulting in a promising career being cut short.

Britain's Hamilton had tweeted -

It is expected that the grid will observe a one-minute silence ahead of Sunday's race at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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