October 20, 2015

There's a petition to rename a corner in Monaco after Jules Bianchi.

(Photo: Patrick Stollarz/AFP)

Jules Bianchi has received a number of tributes from the F1 community, the most moving in my book, Vettel's after winning the Hungarian GP  in July.

But let's face it, maybe that clip of Vettel's tribute will live on the internet for a bit longer but most people will forget the minutes of silence and kind words pretty quickly.

Since he passed away July 17, a group of fans started a petition on Facebook with the hope of convincing the Automobile Club de Monaco to rename one of the corners of the Grand Prix circuit after the unlucky Frenchman.

Monaco makes more sense than an earlier proposal to name turn 7 at Suzuka after Jules.   That's the corner he died, a terrible idea.

Bianchi was from Nice, 15 miles away from the principality.  He conquered the only points his team, Manor, ever scored in six years of racing. by coming in ninth in 2014.   By some accounts, that  result was worth 40 million dollars to the team  (who by other accounts, would not help Bianchi's family financially after the accident).

A great idea but with one big problem: which corner?  The track has names firmly embedded in racing history and local lore.

Sainte Devote.   There's the principality's oldest church, dedicated to the patron saint of  Monaco there, no chance that will change.

Beau Rivage.   Not really a corner but again, entrenched in history and Riviera evoking iconography.

Massenet.  Named after a French composer of minor operas (sorry fans) whose bust sits next to the tricky corner leading to Casino Square.   That would be my candidate (again, sorry opera fans)

Casino?  Not happening.

Mirabeau and Lowes are named after the hotels they are in front of,  considering the importance of Hotels in Monaco,  non-starters.

Portier is named after a neighborhood that no longer exists but it, along with Tabac and Rascasse  (also named after things that don't really exist anymore) simply cannot be changed.

The entry to the swimming pool is named after Louis Chiron, a Monegasque driver who finished third in the first F1 Grand Prix in 1950 in a Maserati aged 50.    Chiron is also famous for having entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans nine times and never finishing once.  Still, chances of Automobile Club of Monaco changing that name are nil.

The exit turns for the Swimming pool complex (turns 15 and 16) don't have any official name I'm aware of so those are possibilities.

The remaining turns are Antony Noghes,  the turn leading back onto the front straight and the Nouvelle Chicane  out of the tunnel.  .  Noghes is named after the founder of the Grand Prix so, see Louis Chiron.  Nouvelle Chicane is not much of a name but it is a place where much action happens so it could be a good one.

Which would you pick, if any?

Regardless,  go over to Facebook and "like" the page,  if anything it might be  of some comfort to Jules' family to see people care.

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