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F1 driver Bianchi dies 9 months after crash

Formula One driver Jules Bianchi. File photo

Formula One driver Jules Bianchi. File photo  

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French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has died of critical head injuries sustained at last year's Japanese Grand Prix, his family said in a statement on Saturday. He was 25.

Bianchi had been in coma since the accident at Suzuka in October 2014. He passed away at a hospital in Nice, near his parents' home in the south of France.

"Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end," said the Bianchi family.

"The pain we feel is immense and indescribable."

Bianchi was the first driver since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna, at Italy's Imola circuit in May 1994, to die from injuries sustained during a Grand Prix weekend.

"We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle," his Manor F1 team tweeted. "It was a privilege to have him race for our team."

The Frenchman suffered severe head injuries when, in wet conditions and fading light, his Marussia slammed into a recovery tractor while it was attempting to remove Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

The race was stopped and the unconscious driver was extracted from the wrecked car and taken by road ambulance to the nearby hospital.

'Hearts and minds'

His family praised medical staff for their care over the last nine months and asked for privacy as they sought to come to terms with the loss.

"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," the statement said.

"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."

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 10:42:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/f1-driver-bianchi-dies-9-months-after-crash/article7437194.ece

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