French Formula One driver Bianchi dies in hospital

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

Staff Reporter
18 July 2015, 6:08am
Jules Bianchi has died from the head injuries
Jules Bianchi has died from the head injuries
French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has died from the head injuries he sustained at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old's family confirmed his death and Bianchi's official Twitter account also announced the news.

Bianchi collided with a crane that was being used to retrieve another crashed car during the 5 October race. 

He had been in a coma since then after suffering serious head injuries.

A statement from the driver's family said: "Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.

"The pain we feel is immense and indescribable."

Manor racing team said said: "We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle. It was a privilege to have him race for our team."

"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," his family added.

The young driver featured in 34 races over the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

He finished ninth in last year's Monaco Grand Prix, scoring the first ever points for Manor, then known as Marussia.

His accident made F1 bring in safety changes, including stopping a race more quickly under caution conditions.

Bianchi is the first driver since Ayrton Senna to die from injuries sustained during a grand prix weekend.

The Brazilian racing legend was killed at Italy's Imola circuit in May 1994.

Germany's multiple F1 world champion Michael Schumacher also suffered life-threatening injuries following a skiing accident in December 2013.

His treatment continues at his home near Geneva but details of his current condition have been closely guarded by his family.