Jules Bianchi dies from F1 crash injuries
25-year-old French racer passes away, nine months after Suzuka collision
F1 driver Jules Bianchi has died, nine months after sustaining severe head injuries at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Bianchi’s family today announced that the Marussia driver, 25, who had been in a coma since the collision at Suzuka in October 2014, had passed away at a hospital in Nice.
"Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end," read a statement from the Bianchi family.
"The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice's CHU who looked after him with love and dedication."
Bianchi sustained his injuries at the Suzuka Grand Prix in 2014, sliding off track and hitting a crane collecting the car of Adrian Sutil, who had crashed on the previous lap.
"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," continued the statement.
"Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise 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."
Bianchi made his debut for Marussia in 2013, and scored the team’s first points with a heroic drive at the 2014 Monaco GP. He was also a member of the Ferrari young driver academy, and regarded as one of the greatest talents in the sport.
The world of motorsport has today been paying its tributes to the young Frenchman.
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“Last night we lost a truly great guy and a real fighter,” said Jenson Button. “RIP Jules. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”
“No words can describe what his family and the sport have lost,” added Max Chilton, Bianchi’s Marussia teammate. “All I can say it was a pleasure knowing and racing you.”
Rest in peace, Jules.