Jules Bianchi's former team Manor has released a statement paying tribute to the Frenchman following his death, saying he was "destined for great things" in Formula 1.
Jules Bianchi's 2014 team (Marussia - now Manor) and teammate Max Chilton were among the first to express their condolences following the news of the French racer's tragic death.
Bianchi made all 34 of his Formula 1 starts with the team, scoring their first and only points in stunning fashion with a ninth-place finish (eighth on the road before the application of a time penalty) in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.
On Saturday morning, the team released a full statement on its Facebook page.
“Words cannot describe the enormous sadness within our team this morning, as we come to terms with losing Jules," read the statement.
"He has left an indelible mark on all our lives, and will forever be part of everything we have achieved, and everything we will strive for going forward.
“Jules was a shining talent. He was destined for great things in our sport; success he so richly deserved. He was also a magnificent human being, making a lasting impression on countless people all over the world.
"They recognised, as did we, that at the same time as being a fiercely motivated racer, he was also an extremely warm, humble and intensely likeable person, who lit up our garage and our lives."
It continued: “We are incredibly grateful that we were able to provide Jules with the opportunity to show the world what he could do in a Formula 1 car. We knew we had a very special driver on our hands from the first time he drove our car in pre-season testing in 2013.
"It has been an honour to be able to consider him our race driver, our team-mate, and of course our friend.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the wonderful Bianchi family, who have remained so strong for Jules throughout the past nine months. In turn, Jules was an absolute credit to them.
“Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has supported Jules since his accident in Japan last October. Your kindness has been such a source of comfort to his family and to us, his team.
"We will rely on your continued support over the coming days and months as we race on for Jules," it concluded.