Booth: 'We think of Jules every single day'

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Manor Marussia F1 Team principal John Booth has talked about the depths of the feelings and emotions facing the team this weekend at Suzuka.

It was a year ago that driver Jules Bianchi crashed during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, suffering mortal head injuries. The 25-year-old eventually succumbed to his injuries nine months later in July.

Now the team is returning to the scene of those tragic events, and Booth admitted that it would be the toughest weekend of the year for everyone involved.

"There is no escaping the fact that this will be an extremely emotional week for us," Booth conceded. "We think of Jules every single day; he will forever be a huge part of our team.

"Jules has not only been constantly in our thoughts since that terrible day in 2014, but his name has also been on our car at every single race. That tribute, our incredibly fond memories of Jules and the camaraderie we have within our team are all we need to race on in his honour in Suzuka this weekend."

Booth asked for understanding from everyone in the paddock for the feelings and emotions being faced by everyone in the team as they return to Suzuka for the first time since Bianchi's funeral.

"We were Jules’ team, and with that in mind I would ask everyone to understand and respect that, this weekend, we wish to deal with the experience of returning to Suzuka in a very private way.

"Many of the team members who were with us in 2014 are back with us this year, including our colleagues at Scuderia Ferrari and of course Will and Alexander, both of whom were in Suzuka last year in their roles as reserve drivers.

"Without doubt, our memories are overwhelmingly happy ones, celebrating his incredible achievements in our race cars and the enjoyable times we shared along the way.

"Jules’ funeral reminded us that he was a special gift to so many people, not least of all the magnificent Bianchi family, who are always in our thoughts and prayers."

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