Jules Bianchi’s family and friends were joined by most of the Formula 1 and GP2 Series grid in the French town of Nice at the Frenchman’s funeral on Tuesday.

Bianchi passed away on Friday 17 October, having never regained consciousness after suffering horrific head injuries in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Alongside the 25-year-old’s friends and family were members of the current Formula 1 grid, as well as four-time World Champion Alain Prost and FIA President Jean Todt, who packed into the Sainte Réparate Cathedral for the morning service.

The service concluded with Bianchi’s coffin carried out of the cathedral by a number of his fellow drivers, who acted as pallbearers.

The venue’s doors were flanked by two large portrait pictures of the late racing driver, dressed in his Marussia overalls, while perfeched atop his coffin was his race helmet. The cathedral was also adorned with bouquets of flowers left by members of the public.

Thousands of mourning members of the public also gathered in the town square to pay their respects.

As a mark of respect, governing body the FIA will retire Bianchi’s number 17 from use in Formula 1, following the introduction of personal race numbers for the 2014 season.

Image via Associated Press

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Geoff Burke

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