We’re sad to report that French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has succumbed to his injuries sustained during a horrific crash in 2014’s rain-affected Japanese Grand Prix. The news was confirmed overnight in a statement released by Bianchi’s family. He was only 25 years old.
Bianchi was placed in an induced coma following the October 5 accident and after some initial treatment in Japan for a brain injury known as a “diffuse axonal injury,” he was moved to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in his hometown of Nice, France. Though he emerged from the induced coma a month later, the racing driver never managed to remain consciousness.
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“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” his family's statement read. “The pain we feel is immense and indescribable."
The family also thanked the medical teams as well as friends and fans of the late driver, and asked that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.
Bianchi, who was driving for Marussia last season, crashed at high speed into the back of a tractor that was being used to remove the Sauber of Adrian Sutil who had crashed earlier in very wet conditions. The team said it was “devastated” by the news.
And Bianchi’s death follows that of former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota in 2013. She passed away from injuries sustained during her own horror crash suffered in 2012 while testing a Marussia F1 car.
The Motor Authority team extends its condolences, and expresses its thoughts and wishes for Bianchi’s family and friends. The family's full statement can be read on the following page.
Below is the full statement from the family of Jules Bianchi:
"It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Mélanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix.
"We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication. We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.
“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times. Listening to and reading the many messages made us realize just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.
“We would like to ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time, while we try to come to terms with the loss of Jules.”