Jules Bianchi seriously injured in Japanese Grand Prix crash

Jules Bianchi
Jules Bianchi is a member of the Ferrari young driver programme

Marussia driver Jules Bianchi has suffered a severe head injury after crashing into a recovery vehicle at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The FIA said he would undergo surgery and then be moved to intensive care.

Bianchi, 25, was unconscious as he was taken to hospital following the incident which brought the rain-affected race to an early conclusion.

The Frenchman lost control at the same spot at Suzuka where recovery vehicles were attending a previous crash.

In wet conditions, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil firstly spun and hit the tyre barrier as rain intensified in the latter stages of the race.

Japanese GP: Lewis Hamilton sad after 'anti-climax' win

While recovery vehicles were lifting Sutil's car, Bianchi lost control of his car, travelled across the run-off area and hit the back of the tractor.

The race was red-flagged and then declared over after 44 laps.

"The driver was removed from the car, taken to the circuit medical centre and then by ambulance to Mie General Hospital," the FIA said in a statement.

"The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and he is currently undergoing surgery. Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored."

How the incident unfolded
Adrian Sutil aquaplanes and crashes into the tyre barriers on lap 43
Jules Bianchi hits the recovery vehicle attending Sutil's crash
The medical car and ambulance are deployed on lap 45
The race is red-flagged and declared over, with the race result counted back to after 44 laps

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the race ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg, but said: "It is obviously a real anti-climax to hear one of our colleagues is seriously injured. That is the main worry."

Sutil said: "I had aquaplaning in Turn Eight. The rain was increasing and the tyres were going down, the light was going down. It was hard to see.

"I was following Jules very close and had a spin and hit the wall. I was OK and then one lap later, under waved yellows, Jules was in the same trouble."

The race had earlier started under safety car conditions after a heavy downpour on Sunday morning as storms that preceded the approaching typhoon Phanfone hit Suzuka.

F1 drivers' thoughts are with Bianchi

It was red-flagged after only two laps because of the weather, before resuming around 20 minutes later under the safety car. After a further eight laps, conditions were deemed suitable enough for racing to get under way.

Despite the conditions three-time world champion Niki Lauda, who was seriously injured in a crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976, felt they were not bad enough to warrant the race being called off.

"The rain was not the real issue," the Mercedes non-executive chairman said.

"There were safety cars put in and the race was run safe more or less to the end, so it could have been run to the end without the accident.

"I don't think the darkness was an issue here. Motor racing is dangerous. We get used to it if nothing happens and then suddenly we are all surprised.

"We always have to be aware that motor racing is very dangerous and this accident is a coming together of various difficult things. One car goes off, the truck comes out and the next car goes off. This was very unfortunate."

Jules Bianchi
Born: 3 August 1989 in Nice, France
Races: 34
Highest finish: 9th
Find out more about Bianchi's rise to F1

Williams driver Felipe Massa, who was involved in a serious crash during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, said: "We need to understand what has happened with Jules. I'm very worried.

"I was already screaming on the radio five laps before the safety car that there was too much water on the track, but they took a bit too long and it was dangerous. So we saw that there were some crashes at the end."

Bianchi, a member of Ferrari's young driver programme, is in his second season in F1.

He scored a memorable ninth place in Monaco this year, giving the back-of-the grid Marussia team their first points since their debut in 2010.

Crew members of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi push his car to the grid
Crew members of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi push his car to the grid before the start of the race
Jules Bianchi
Medics at the scene treat Bianchi
Jules Bianchi
The ambulance takes Bianchi from the scene

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