Sunday’s Formula One Grand Prix of Japan, held in very wet conditions due to rain bands from incoming Typhoon Phanfone, was red-flagged and declared complete after 46 laps due to a savage crash involving the Marussia of Jules Bianchi in turn 7. Previous to Bianchi’s crash, the Sauber of Adrian Sutil had aquaplaned, spun out and crashed at the same turn. While the removal crew was attending to Sutil’s Sauber, Bianchi reportedly spun off and hit the recovery vehicle (a tractor with a small crane attached to it) that was dispatched to remove Sutil’s car.
The race was immediately red-flagged after the crash occurred. At last update, Bianchi was said to be unconscious and had been transported to a local hospital by ambulance. A Medi-Vac helicopter was on-site, but weather conditions made it impossible to use.
As per FIA policy when races end under the red flag, the unofficial results were compiled by counting back two laps from the last completed lap. As a result, Lewis Hamilton was declared the winner after 44 laps, followed by teammate Nico Rosberg. Sebastien Vettel rounded out the podium.
Early Sunday, the FIA put out a press release which stated that Bianchi was transported to Mie General Medical Center in nearby Yokkaichi. Once there, a CT Scan determined that Bianchi suffered a severe head injury in the crash. As a result, Bianchi underwent surgery.
At 5 a.m. EDT Monday, Marussia F1 Team released the following statement in regards to Bianchi.
“Following the accident involving Jules Bianchi during yesterday’s 2014 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit, the Marussia F1 Team would like to acknowledge the huge outpouring of support and affection for Jules and the Team at this very difficult time.
“With regard to the communication of information concerning Jules’ medical condition, we will respect, and be guided by, the wishes of the Bianchi family. Together with Jules’ care, they will remain our highest priority. Therefore, we would ask for patience and understanding with regard to further medical updates, which will be communicated in conjunction with the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi, where Jules is being treated, when they feel it is appropriate.
“Representatives of the Marussia F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari will remain at the hospital to support Jules and the Bianchi family.”
In addition to his driving duties with Marussia F1 Team, Bianchi has also tested in the past for Scuderia Ferrari. Ferrari also supplies Marussia with power units.
Bianchi has 34 career Grand Prix starts, all of which with Marussia. His best career finish is a ninth at Monaco back in May. The two points that came with that finish were the first and only ever points for both Bianchi and Marussia.
The story is still an active one and we will continue to update it as new information becomes available.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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