Jules Bianchi’s father lashes out at FIA as he makes ‘cannon fodder’ claim

A recovery vehicle was sent out onto the circuit during last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Jules Bianchi’s father, Philippe, has doubled down on his criticism of the FIA after they endangered the life of Pierre Gasly at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The race started in wet conditions, and the drivers headed out in Intermediates on what had become an immensely wet circuit ahead of the formation lap.

Carlos Sainz was caught out by the slippery surface, and he span off into the barrier on the opening lap, prompting a red flag.

However, the drivers were still making their way back past the incident on the second lap when race control decided to send a recovery vehicle out onto the asphalt.

READ: Ex-F1 driver criticises Pierre Gasly for Japanese GP controversy

Pierre Gasly had started from the pit lane, and he was unaware that a crane had been deployed, so when he made his way past in staggeringly poor visibility, he almost hit the truck.

A similar incident occurred in 2014 when Jules Bianchi lost control and went straight on at Turn Seven, colliding with a vehicle that had been sent out to collect the stricken Sauber of Adrian Sutil.

Gasly was fuming after the incident, saying that the recklessness of the FIA might have cost him his life, while Philippe took to social media to accuse the governing body of a lack of respect.

The stewards, however, exonerated themselves of any responsibility by accusing Gasly of going too quickly under red flag conditions, and he was given a 20-second penalty for that offence.

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However, the Frenchman had been speeding at a different part of the circuit, while obeying the delta time as he traversed Turn 11, where Sainz’s car was.

Even at low speeds in an F1, we have seen a painful example of what can happen when a driver hits a crane, so sending one onto the track itself made the drivers particularly incensed.

Bianchi labelled the FIA’s reaction to the incident “laughable,” and affirmed that there is no excuse for endangering the lives of the drivers and marshals.

READ: Listen: Pierre Gasly’s radio message after potentially fatal encounter

“That’s laughable, it’s what they would have said to Jules as well,” he told RMC.

“I say to myself ‘Where is the respect for Jules?’ They’re not cannon fodder, nothing justifies giving the order.”

After the race, the FIA began in investigation into the procedure behind the deployment of recovery vehicles.