SERIOUS HEAD INJURY: Phillipe Bianchi, father of F1 driver Jules, has told the world: 'My son is seriously injured and has had surgery.' Image: AFP
SUZUKA, Japan - Frenchman Jules Bianchi underwent emergency surgery on Sunday after crashing in rain near the end of an incident-packed 204 Japanese Formula 1 GP.
F1's governing International Automobile Federation said the 25-year-old had been rushed to hospital after suffering a "severe head injury" and had gone into surgery.
Bianchi was taken to hospital by road ambulance, still unconscious, after colliding with a recovery vehicle which was attempting to lift Adrian Sutil's Sauber away from danger after the German himself had skidded into a tyre wall on lap 42 at Suzuka.
'SCAN SHOWS HEAD INJURY'
The federation added that Bianchi would continue to be monitored in intensive care after surgery.
Federation press officer Matteo Bonciani said in a statement: "The driver was removed from the car, taken to the circuit medical centre, and then by ambulance to Mie General Hospital.
“A scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and needed surgery. Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored."
VIDEO: Bianchi's Suzuka crash
The FIA added: "A recovery vehicle was sent to lift (Sutil's) car and take it to a place of safety behind the guard rail. 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.
"Once the marshals reported that the driver was injured, medical teams were despatched and the pace car was deployed. These were followed by an extrication team and an ambulance.”
'WE HAVE TO WAIT 24 HOURS'
Bianchi's father, Philippe, told France 3 TV: “Jules is seriously injured. He is undergoing surgery for a head injury and we will need to wait 24 hours to know any more on his condition."
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton won Sunday's race, which had been threatened by a typhoon and began behind the pace car with drivers complaining over team radios that they were unable to see through the spray.
Hamilton, starting second behind Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, radioed: "Tell Nico not to do anything dramatic cos I can't see him."
Sutil witnessed Bianchi's shunt after going out himself. "I had a spin and ended up in the (tyre) wall," he said. "I stood up and they tried to rescue the car. Jules was in the same area and lost the car. I hope he is in good hands."
The pace and medical cars were sent out and the race brought to a premature halt, giving Hamilton his eighth victory of the season, although the Briton's celebrations were muted as news of Bianchi's crash filtered through.
HAMILTON: 'WE'RE VERY CONCERNED'
"We're all very concerned about our colleague, Bianchi," he said. "I don't really know what to say. Obviously (the race) didn't finish the way we would have hoped but my prayers are with him and his family."
German Rosberg, who finished second, said: "I'm not thinking about the race - I'm thinking about my colleague. I'm hoping for the best."
F1 has been relatively free of severe crashes in recent years since safety-improving measures that were implemented in the wake of the last fatality to hit the sport - that of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino GP.