Mourners gather for funeral of F1 star Jules Bianchi

Family and friends bid farwell to the French Formula One champion at a service in his hometown of Nice

Mourners have gathered for the funeral of Jules Bianchi, the French Formula One driver who died this weekend, at his home town of Nice.

Church bells sounded during the funeral and solemn applause resonated as Bianchi's family carried his coffin inside Sainte Reparate Cathedral.

Other attendees at the service included executives from Biacchi's F1 team Manor-Marussia, as well as Jean Todt, the FIA president, and his son Nicolas, Bianchi's manager.

F1 stars Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and four-times champion Alain Prost were also among mourners at the funeral service.

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A portrait of Bianchi hangs outside the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice (Getty)

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Crowds of mourners gather outside the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice (Getty)

Bianchi's car, number 17, is being retired from Formula One in his honour and tributes are expected at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

Binachi death was announced in the early hours of Saturday. He had been in a coma for nine months following an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix last year.

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British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton paid his last respect to Bianchi after his funeral ceremony (Getty)

His death rocked the Formula One world, with tributes pouring in from his fellow drivers.

Former world champion Jenson Button said Binachi was a "real fighter" in a message on Twitter shortly after Bianchi's death was announced.

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Late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi's helmet is pictured on his coffin (Getty)

Binachi was the first driver to die of injuries sustained in an F1 race since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

 

(Additional reporting by agencies)