Bianchi’s number 17 to be retired

Jules Bianchi’s number 17 will be retired from Formula One, the world motorsport governing body has announced a day before the French driver’s funeral in Nice.

“As F1 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,” the FIA said in a statement on Monday.

“As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Bianchi died late on Friday as a result of severe head injuries suffered in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix last October.

Earlier on Monday, Bianchi’s Manor team invited members of the public who wished to pay their respect to the 25-year-old to gather outside the Sainte Reparate Cathedral during the funeral.

Places inside the cathedral are to be reserved for family, friends and colleagues.

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