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Bianchi's funeral held in home city Nice
Last Updated: 2015-07-21 20:56 | Xinhua
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French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi's funeral has been held in his hometown of Nice on Tuesday, while the sport's governing body FIA announced to retire his car number "17" from F1 in his honor.

Family, friends and some colleagues attended the funeral at Sainte Reparate Cathedral, and fans gathered outside mourning with flowers and pictures of the 25-year-old driver.

Bianchi died Friday as a result of severe head injuries after having been in a coma since crashing his Marussia car into a recovery vehicle at rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix last October.

His family said in a statement released through the driver's twitter that "Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end."

The Marussia team, now known as Manor, later confirmed his death and said Bianchi had left an "indelible mark on all our lives".

Bianchi is the first F1 driver to die from injuries sustained in a grand prix since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola in 1994.

A number of F1 colleagues traveled to Nice to pay their respects, namely Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Williams' Felipe Massa, as well as former Toyota test driver Olivier Panis.

Among the mourners was four-time F1 Drivers' Champion Alain Prost who was the arch-rival of Senna in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Tributes are expected to be paid at Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

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