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Sports Bar Jules Bianchi suffers severe head injury after crashing into recovery vehicle

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Jules Bianchi is fighting for his life in hospital after surgery on a severe head injury sustained when he crashed into a vehicle recovering Adrian Sutil's Sauber during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The race was cut short by nine laps after the incident involving the Marussia driver, who failed to respond when his team radioed to ask if he was OK.

Treated at the scene of the accident, he was unconscious as he was driven to the Mie University Hospital, 10 miles south of the Suzuka circuit, with a police escort. The medical helicopter could not fly because conditions were too bad.

The 25-year-old is undergoing surgery for his injuries and will be taken to intensive care afterwards, an FIA statement confirmed. His father has since told French media that his son's condition is critical.



Officials red-flagged the Japanese Grand Prix on lap 46, meaning championship leader Lewis Hamilton claimed his third win in succession and eighth of the season.

But celebrations on the podium were muted after news of Bianchi's condition broke.

Bianchi is a graduate of the Ferrari academy and former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and team principal Marco Mattiacci were among those from the Formula One community who went to Mie University hospital after the race.

The tractor was preparing to tow away Sutil's Sauber, which had spun off in heavy rain on lap 42 of a dramatic and weather-interrupted race.

As the recovery was taking place, Bianchi also spun off at the same corner, a lap later, and crashed into the back of the tractor.

FIA media delegate Matteo Bonciani confirmed Bianchi was taken to hospital after the crash, which happened at the notoriously challenging Dunlop Curve.

'On lap 42, Adrian Sutil lost control of his car, spun and hit the tyre barrier on the outside of Turn 7,' an FIA statement read.

'The marshals displayed double waved yellow flags before the corner to warn drivers of the incident. A recovery vehicle was despatched in order to lift the car and take it to a place of safety behind the guardrail.

'While this was being done the driver of car 17, Jules Bianchi, lost control of his car, travelled across the run-off area and hit the back of the tractor.'

The running of the race had been under threat all week as Typhoon Phanfone approached Japan from the Pacific Ocean and the event had already been red-flagged after just two laps after the race began under safety car conditions.

The race continued when the weather cleared up but the rain began to fall in the closing stages ahead of both Sutil and Bianchi's accidents.

Sutil said after the race: 'I aquaplaned. The rain got more and more. One lap later with waved yellow flags Jules came around and had the same spin there, and that was it. It was the same crash but the outcome was different.

'The car came out to rescue my car and it all happened.

'This particular corner was a very tricky one the whole race through but especially in the end when it was dark. You just couldn?t see where the patches were and that?s why I lost the car.?

'It got a little bit dark in the end and maybe we should have stopped the race earlier.'

On whether the race should have been held earlier in the day, Sutil added: ?We weren?t asked about our opinion so there is nothing I can say. It was clear it got more wet and it would have been quite easy to make the race earlier but it is not in my hands.?

Nico Rosberg, who finished second, said the situation was 'very, very serious'.

'I'm not thinking about the race, I'm thinking about my colleague,' said Rosberg. 'I've been given some information and it seems very, very serious. I'm hoping for the best.'

Sauber tweeted to confirm Sutil was OK following his accident.

Hamilton's win put him 10 points clear of Rosberg in the drivers' championship. The Brit pulled off a stunning overtake on his Mercedes team-mate on lap 29 and never looked back, pulling clear to win his eighth grand prix of the season.

'They weren't that bad, said Hamilton of the conditions. 'It was wet obviously but I have had much worse in terms of aquaplaning.
 

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