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'My son will fight!' - Bianchi's father

2014-10-15 08:55

HOPE AND FAITH: Marussia driver Jules Bianchi's family (L-R) father Philippe Bianchi, brother Tom, mother Christine and sister Melanie, arrive at the Mie General hospital in Japan on October 10 2014.Image: AFP / Toru Yamanaka


In case you missed the race, here's the horrific moment Marussia driver Jules Bianchi impacted a tractor trying to remove Adrian Sutil's car off the track. The question remains... Who is to blame for the incident?

LONDON, England - Critically injured Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi will not give up his fight for life but the situation remains desperate, his father Philippe has said.

Speaking to Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper in Yokkaichi, Japan, on Tuesday (Oct 14) where the 25-year-old Marussia driver is in intensive care, Bianchi senior said it was a miracle his son was still alive.

Philippe Bianchi said: "The situation is desperate. Every time the phone rings we know it could be the hospital to say Jules is dead but first they said the first 24 hours were crucial, then it became 72 and now we are still here, with Jules who is fighting.

"I see it, I believe it, I speak to him, I know he hears me. The doctors have said that is already a miracle, that nobody has ever survived such a serious accident. But Jules does not give up."


Bianchi has been in hospital since soon after his F1 race car crashed into a recovery tractor during the 2014 Japanese GP on October 5. The team said in an update on Tuesday that he remained critical but stable.

A team statement said: "The past nine days have been extremely difficult for Jules and his family. As a consequence of the accident at Suzuka a number of medical challenges have needed to be overcome and the situation remains challenging due to the diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury Jules has sustained."

The driver's parents, brother and sister have been at his bedside for the past week. Representatives from Ferrari and Marussia have also been nearby.

The Gazzetta said the International Automobile Federation medical commission president Gerard Saillant and Italian professor Alessandro Frati, who flew to Japan after the crash, had returned to Europe after assuring the family that Bianchi was getting the best possible care.

The driver's father said the family was living a nightmare, in unfamiliar surroundings and without knowing what the future might hold.


"Maybe when Jules is better... we can move him to Tokyo and things will be easier but who knows when that will happen, if it happens. We have no certainties, we can only wait. One day he seems a little better, another a bit worse. The doctors don't say, the damage in the impact was great but they don't know how it will evolve."

Bianchi said he took hope from the case of seven-times F1 champion Michael Schumacher who sustained a severe head injury while skiing in France towards the end of 2013 and is now being nursed at home.

He said: "Even with Schumacher it took months before he came out of the coma but I have read that Jean Todt hopes he could have a nearly normal life. One day I hope to be able to say the same."

He thanked the F1 drivers for their support - they all stood in a silent circle before Sunday's Russian GP as a mark of respect for their stricken fellow driver.

"So many people have written to me, I will reply," he said. "(Jean-Eric) Vergne, (Fernando) Alonso, (Felipe) Massa have had strong thoughts. (Lewis) Hamilton sent a lovely email saying if he could do anything he was there for us."

F1 officials have prepared a report into the accident and have made safety proposals, among them automatic speed limits and possibly equipping the recovery tractors and cranes with impact-absorbing skirts.

Former F1 champion Alain Prost has been particularly scathing about the use of such recovery vehicles, telling reporters in Russia at the weekend he was furious about what had happened.

"I don't want to make any polemics with the federation because I have a lot of respect for what has been done in terms of safety over the past 20 years," the Frenchman said. "It is cars and tracks (that have been made safer) and there was only one thing left: it was this... truck on the track."

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