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Formula E news | Norman Nato to carry No.17 in tribute to fallen Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi

FIA Formula E World Championship driver Norman Nato has revealed a special tribute to the late Jule Bianchi.

Both natives of France, Nato and Bianchi grew up racing together.

Nato, who will race for Nissan in 2023, has revealed he’ll carry the No.17 with which Bianchi carried in Formula 1.

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The number was retired in the wake of Bianchi’s death after he fell into a lengthy coma following a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Bianchi, 24 at the time, crashed into a stationary tractor that was recovering the stricken car of Adrian Sutil that had crashed.

In wet conditions, Bianchi slid off the track and drove under the tractor. His helmet made contact with the recovery vehicle, rendering him unconscious.

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Nine months later, he succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash.

It was the first fatality in Formula 1 since the death of Ayrton Senna during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

“Happy and proud to race under number 17 in FIA Formula E,” Nato wrote.

“This number means a lot to me. I started in karting and won championships with the 17. 

“Jules also raced in F1 with this number which makes it even more special for me. 

“Can’t wait to get started.”

Bianchi’s father reacted to the news with heart emojis in the comments of Nato’s post.

Bianchi contested 34 grands prix, all with Marussia.

As part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, he was touted as a future star of Formula 1.

In the wake of his death, a head protection device dubbed the ‘halo’ was developed.

Formula 1 debuted the technology which has since been adopted to feeder categories.

IndyCar has its own hybrid windscreen and halo system called the aeroscreen.

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