Bianchi, 25, was unconscious as he was taken to hospital following the incident which brought the rain-affected race to an early conclusion. The Frenchman lost control at the same spot at Suzuka where recovery vehicles were attending a previous crash. In wet conditions, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil firstly spun and hit the tyre barrier as rain intensified in the latter stages of the race. While recovery vehicles were lifting Sutil's car, Bianchi lost control of his car, travelled across the run-off area and hit the back of the tractor. The race was red-flagged and then declared over after 44 laps.
"The driver was removed from the car, taken to the circuit medical centre and then by ambulance to Mie General Hospital," the FIA said in a statement. "The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and he is currently undergoing surgery. Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored." The BBC subsequently reported that Bianchi was out of surgery and, crucially, not on life-support but breathing on his own. That has not been oficially confirmed.
It is a terrible example of deja-vu for the Marussia team. As I mentioned when I wrote her obituary in 2013, in 2012 Maria de Villota was involved in a testing accident whilst carrying out testing for the Marussia F1 team. Her car collided with a stationary truck at the end of a test run.
I love Grand Prix racing but it should never be forgotten what a dangerous sport it is. Your thoughts and prayers for Jules Bianchi and his family would be appreciated.