French Formula One driver dies after prolonged coma

“The pain we feel is enormous and indescribable'”.


The 25-year-old Frenchman passed away Friday night at the hospital in Nice, southeastern France, where he was admitted following the October 5 accident, a family statement said. “We will rely on your continued support over the coming days and months as we race on for Jules”.

Bianchi sustained head injuries after his Marussia auto got in a high speed collision with a mobile crane that was being used to pick up a crashed auto at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

A working group of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, investigated the accident and found that as Bianchi went off the track into the run-off area, he “applied both throttle and brake together, using both feet” over-riding the fail-safe mechanism.

Bianchi made his F1 debut with Marussia in 2013 and was also a member of the Ferrari young driver academy.

“He was a great champion”. “He loved his racing and lived to race”, Brundle added.

Then there was uncle Lucien, who won Le Mans in 1968, the year he was also third in the Monaco Grand Prix, the only time he finished on the podium in 17 grands prix. Born on August 3, 1989 in Nice, to parents Philippe and Christine, he first sat behind the wheel of a kart aged three.

“Sad after the death of Jules Bianchi“. It’s inspiring to see the overwhelming support and well wishes from all over the world – again showing the outstanding unity within the Motorsport fraternity. His nine-month battle to survive at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire ended this morning, his death was announced at 6:25am this morning. “It has been an honour to be able to consider him our race driver, our teammate, and of course our friend”.

“The tractor should never have been there”, said Ecclestone, who started out in Formula One in the 1950s and witnessed the sport at its deadliest over the next two decades.

Team principal John Booth followed up that message with a longer tribute to Bianchi published on Facebook, which paid homage to his talent and placed the team’s thoughts and prayers with the family. His team, Marussia, now known as Manor F1, said it was “shocked and angered” by the report.

Current F1 drivers, many in the French motor racing world, and fans immediately began posting tributes and sympathy on social media.

He’s the first driver to succumb to injuries sustained in a grand prix since double Formula 1 Champion Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino GP, which in itself was one of Formula 1’s darkest weekends.

Eventually, Bianchi was taken home to Nice and was being treated at a hospital there, however, he was still in a coma from the accident.

Bianchi’s father Philippe had spoken earlier this month about having become “less optimistic” of his son’s recovery. “We do our best, or always have done our best, for driver safety”. “Sad day, condolences to his family and friends”.


“There are moments watching Jules lying in his bed, without a scratch or anything, I have to give him a peck on the cheek and say, “Come on get up, what are you doing lying there?”

Image Credit AP