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F1’s Bianchi Sustains Major Head Injury At Japan GP

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 5 2014

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi underwent surgery for a severe head injury Sunday after colliding with a recovery vehicle on Lap 43 of the rain-plagued Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.

Bianchi, 25, was unconscious but breathing unaided when taken to Suzuka’s medical center before being transferred by ambulance to Mie General Hospital.

The Frenchman spun off-track and collided with a recovery crane that was in the process of removing the wrecked Sauber of Adrian Sutil. The multiple-car accident and deteriorating conditions prompted FIA officials to red-flag and subsequently call the race after 44 of 53 laps.

The sanctioning FIA released this statement on Bianchi: “The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and is currently undergoing surgery. Following this, he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored. Mie General Hospital will issue an update as soon as further information becomes available.”

Photos on EuroSport.com showed part of Bianchi’s car wedged under the back end of the recovery vehicle. Bianchi’s helmet barely escaped being wedged under the vehicle.

Bianchi’s father, Philippe, said on France 3 television that it could take 24 hours before Jules’ condition became clearer.

Bianchi’s accident occurred in the Dunlop Curve, where Sutil had crashed one lap earlier after aquaplaning off the circuit. Sutil, who was not injured, said Bianchi’s accident was similar to his. “It was more or less the same crash, just the outcome was a bit different,” Sutil told Sky television. “The (vehicle) came out to rescue my car and then it all happened.”

Former World Driving Champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes led a 1-2 sweep over Silver Arrows teammate Nico Rosberg, with four-time/reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Infiniti Red Bull Racing third. But post-race celebrations were muted. Hamilton’s third consecutive victory, by 9.1 seconds, allowed him to extend his lead to 10 points over pole-sitter Rosberg with four races remaining, including next weekend’s Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia.

“My thoughts are with my colleague,” Rosberg said. “They have given us some information and it seems very, very serious.”

Veteran Williams driver Felipe Massa was critical of race organizers, who were faced with the impending arrival of a typhoon all weekend. “In my opinion they started the race too early because it was not driveable at the beginning and they finished the race too late,” Massa told Reuters. “I was screaming on the radio five laps before the Safety Car that there was too much water on the track, but they just took a little bit too long. It was dangerous.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 5 2014
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