I’m not sure of the tone of the meetings but reports suggest there was some discussion on how to honor the victims of the Paris attacks during the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.
According to reports, FIA president Jean Todt and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone debated over how best to honor the victims and it has been revealed that the drivers will be wearing black armbands during the pre-race ceremonies. The challenge was that Todt had already marked this weekend for two minutes of silence to honor the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
It seems he didn’t want to marginalize those efforts as it is a particularly strong cause of the FIA for good reason. In fact, AUTOSPORT says that Todt was quoted telling French television, Canal+
“Do you realise the number of people killed in road accidents is by far bigger than the number of people who died in Paris?”
That may be true and I certainly understand the cause was already planned for this weekend and the event should do something to mark the cause but I’m not sure drawing relevancy between road accident deaths and the tragic slaughter of dozens of innocent civilians in France is the best way to honor that cause.
Surely there is a difference in being involved in a road accident and being gunned down attending a concert or football match?
As it turns out, F1 will honor both issues on Sunday but it’s not the reaction I would have expected from a Frenchman in charge of the French organization, the FIA.
“Because of the horrific terrorist attacks of 13 November in Paris, the ceremony to pay tribute to the casualties of road traffic accidents scheduled for the Brazilian Grand Prix within the framework of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims has been modified.
“The drivers’ parade lap will see all competitors wearing a black armband as a sign of mourning and tribute to the victims of the Paris tragedy and as a gesture of solidarity with their families and loved ones.
“In addition, a French flag decorated with a black ribbon will be carried on the truck used during the drivers’ parade.
“Finally, a backdrop prepared for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims will be displayed behind the drivers on the grid at 13h45 (local time) for a minute of silence as a tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been injured in road traffic accidents.”
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT