Serious crash for Bianchi ends Japanese Grand Prix

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

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The Japanese Grand Prix came to an early end following a serious crash involving Jules Bianchi.

The Marussia driver went off at the Dunlop Curve where Adrian Sutil had crashed moments earlier.

FIA press officer Matteo Bonciani confirmed Bianchi was not conscious and had been taken to hospital by ambulance with a police escort.

Sutil said Bianchi’s car struck the crane which had been sent to recover his Sauber.

The race was red-flagged on lap 46. Conditions had been wet throughout, and the first attempt to start the race was abandoned after two laps behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain. It was eventually started after a further eight laps behind the Safety Car.

Update: Further details about Bianchi’s condition

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image © Marussia

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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136 comments on “Serious crash for Bianchi ends Japanese Grand Prix”

  1. Really horrible, I really hope he is ok.

  2. I’m horrified that the race was happily going on despite the fact that the helicopter could not fly.

    1. There is a provision in the regulations that they don’t requite a helicopter providing a hospital can be reached via road/police escort within a set time.

      1. Surely less than 40 mins?

      2. That’s the reason why the Singapore GP does not need any medevac helicopter, the nearest hospital is around 20 minutes away in normal traffic without any police escorts/road closures.

      3. So all those times when practice is delayed while we wait for rain/fog to clear “so that the medical helicopter can fly”…
        But the race can go ahead regardless

        1. Apparently it turns out the heli was there and available. Using an ambulance was a choice, Im guessing on medical grounds.

          1. Yeah, Ted said… See below

    2. I was under the impression that they got rid of all of sid’s old team who were still operating to sid’s standard once sid had died

    3. @eurobrun me too. I thought that wasn’t authorized by the rules.

    4. Bianci was airlifted to hospital and he was unconscious as far as I know.

    5. Ted on Sky says that the helicopter could indeed have been used and subsequently took off…

      1. He like a lot of people at the moment was speculating, they saw the helicopter take off after Bianchi left in an ambulance.. Who’s to say conditions were not suitable when they had to make the decision, we have seen how quickly they can worsen or improve..

        1. Yes but you can’t criticise for the race taking place when the helicopter couldn’t fly (which isn’t a requirement in the rules) , when it did ( ted reported it, ant saw it), and then criticise that it might have at the time, not all the facts are available at the moment, as Brunel said, it could have been medical reasons (head injury and air pressure) it could be that the hospital they wanted to take him to do didn’t have a pad … Let’s hang them when we have the rope (facts) before is just speculation

        2. There are possible meteorological or medical reasons not to use the helicopter. There’s no point speculating about it at this stage.

  3. I do hope that Jules Bianchi is OK. It must’ve been a horrific crash. But regarding the race, great race by Hamilton, disappointed to see Ferrari’s point streak finally end, but the main concern is of course Jules Bianchi. Get well soon! Every F1 fan is with you. But this shows the period and time in F1 when everybody is united. Seeing the drivers respecting Jules’ incident really shows the best side of F1

  4. Still think it is better to leave cars on the track than have tractors out there. What happened to all the cranes they used to have? Too expensive I guess.

    1. They still have them but there isn’t the room to have them in some places.

      At the place the accident happened there is no room for a crane because you have 130R the other side of the barrier & on the other side of the track is a grass bank.

    2. I agree. At least in tricky conditions, since the chances of someone heading off straight to the same spot is much higher.

    3. It doesn’t matter, in this case the race should have been stopped or at least the safety car should have come out early. If there is a crane as you say, you still need marshals to connect the cables to the car, if there is no tractor then those people are in danger of being hit as well. There were marshals there and they got a bit lucky they didn’t get hit. With less than 10 laps to go I don’t know why F1 put itself in that situation.

      1. Actually a Marshall had in fact been injured but wasn´t severe, he walked away from the medical área feeling well

    4. Which kind of crane could cover that run off area? It works on street circuits and some places but area on Esses is just way too large for crane.

      I dont understand why Charlie Whiting takes these kind of risks. It wasnt first time this season when he creates this kind of situation when marshalls are working on really dangerous spot without safety car. F1 really have to rethink safety car rules if they are so afraid to use it that putting lifes in danger is better option :-S

      Code 60 ftw..

  5. Ambulance? Wasn’t there a time when a race could not start if a medical helicopter couldn’t operate?

  6. It’s actually rather disturbing, given the lack of updates.

    1. @goondu86 the pictures of the scene are disturbing and lack of info does fuel anxiousness.

      Frech newspaper L’Equipe is reporting that Bianchi has undergone a head surgery (source: Jules’ father) and Mika Salo has said the Frech driver “got a hard hit into his head”.

  7. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    5th October 2014, 9:21

    Horrible. I see Gary Hardstein in all sorts of panic on Twitter now.

    former_f1doc: The rapidity of the helicopter evac is extremely worrying. About as worried as i can be about what the hospital is going to announce.

    former_f1doc: Only reasons to evac this fast are isolated severe head injury, severe hemorrhagic shock, or need for ongoing CPR.

    1. Gary Hardstein is the last person I would be looking to for information. . .

    2. Is that the guy who so disrespectfully alludes to Schumacher’s condition, hospital treatment and family’s decision?

      If so, I don’t want to hear anything he’s got to say. He thinks he knows everything

  8. Ted Kravitz saying he’ll be transported to the nearest big hospital in Nagoya, 40ish minutes away by car. That’s a lot, I hope he’ll be ok.

  9. Formula-I (@)
    5th October 2014, 9:21

    What happened.

    1. Bianchi collided with the recovery vehicle that was dealing with Sutil’s car

  10. I really wish Bianchi will be ok BUT THE race was awful, how is possible to race if The medical helicopter can not fly?

    1. Im sure that is because Ham won, the race was far from awful dude. Hamilton was great this race what an overtake. Ric with great passes Vet aswell. You did not like the race because Alo did not finish as we saw you’re silly stuff yesterday about him taking over from LH

      1. @dan C’mon, in a time like this, F1 should really be united, no matter who we support. Don’t ruin that please.

      2. It was awful because there was not RACE start, because there were two safety cars, The 1st one has no sense, because there were two red flags, because there was a serious accident, because The med helicopter COULD not fly, because more than a quarter of The RACE they were driving following a safety car… Do YOU need more reassons?

        1. The helicopter could and did fly, road was considered a better choice. Yes, as in Canada the safety car delayed the re-start far to long.

          1. I watched on TV The helicopter parked at The medical center. They started to prepare it and they aborted. The news at that time were it could not fly Bianchi to the hospital at the time, i do not know if time after that it did fly or not.

      3. Paul is absolutely right. This whole weekend was an example of poorly executed organisation. Not that it matters right now though.

      4. Our thoughts should be with Jules, not making wild insinuation

    2. Beacuse the weather was bad, and It was possible they to crash the helicopter,and they choose to not risk.I agree with them

  11. Not the time to point fingers. Easy to blame after the incident. Thoughts are with Bianci, his family & his team until we know his condition

  12. Best of luck to jules. Puts race into perspective.

  13. Fell asleep and only watched the last 5 minutes. Dizzy as I am right now, I’m seriously worried about Jules… Hopes and prayers he is okay…

    Come on Jules !

  14. It’s so sad to see that on the one day that the helicopter is unable to fly, something like this happens. I hope this teaches a lesson to all those fans who want to ignore safety, like at the beginning of the British GP

  15. Hopefully Jules is OK. But I’ve seen some photos and the car looks wrecked. Sutil says that Bianchi hit the tractor sideways (According to AFDaCosta on Twitter).

    I maintain that it was the fault of the tractor…cars were spinning off. Best to have just left the Sauber there…no harm. Or if it needed to be removed, then safety car (which would have ended the race pretty much anyways). A marshal was more likely to get hit…and sadly an accident did happen but it involved an F1 driver.

    1. I don’t understand why there wasn’t a safety car after Sutil had crashed. The conditions were OK in my opinion but you can’t leave a car in such a dangerous place.

      Often they put the SC out for nothing and here they choose to let the race go on. I don’t understand it.

      1. See Germany 2014… no safety car. we were lucky then. no lessons learned.

      2. + 1
        I agree 100% with you. As soon as I saw Sutil crashing I thought that the SC was going to be deployed inmediately but unfortunately it didn’t. I’m really upset about it.

        1. +1 also I immediately thought of the Germany non safety car incident and other questionable decisions Charlie whiting has made this season.
          He used to have a SC trigger finger, seems to try and lean more towards entertainment recently and then is seen on TV describing Bianchi’s crash with his palm and fist before podium.

    2. Well yellow flags are supposed to slow drivers to a safe speed.

      1. Yes, but even then you can aquaplane at low speeds. Ericsson went off behind the safety car.

    3. The car was under the machine , I hope its not like Canada last year *F1 fans will remember that horrible mistake*

  16. They could have raced yesterday, but Honda didn’t wanted it.

    The race was really good up to what happened to Jules.

    1. “They could have raced yesterday, but Honda didn’t wanted it.”

      And had fans who had brought tickets unable to attend? Not everyone who has race tickets will also have tickets for Saturday & with most fans going to Suzuka via public transport you have issues there to consider with fans having brought tickets to get to/leave the circuit at a set time.

      1. Yes, i know it. But they could raced earlier at least.

        1. Dude it went perfect if Jules is fine they done a good job in the end really. We done a lot of laps.

        2. And had no one in Europe seen it ? Not even Bernie that mad.

      2. It’s naive to say “But they could read earlier at least”. To do so they’d have to agree the new time with every one of their broadcast partners.. many of whom would have been unable to air it at the new time due to contractual obligations with other programmes. Next we go to viewership. A change in race start time so late-on would have dramatically decreased viewing numbers. If we combine the two, it would result in FIA paying a tonne of money to broadcasters to change their schedules, as well as the FIA receiving less money for the race due to way less viewers.

        It’s not hard to grasp, and is one of the reasons we raced in South Africa under apartheid, and Bahrain amidst human rights protests. If you’ve worked for one multinational co. you’ve worked for 90% of them. If there isn’t a business case (i.e. will it make us money), it won’t be done. Never mind if its actually a change that will make them lose money.

        So yes, they could have changed the time. But without a good 3-7 days notice it would, and will, never happen.

  17. Hoping for Jules to be Ok , all my prayers for him

  18. That was horrible. Even with a SC this kind of accidents can happen, FIA really should enforce a slow-zone in the accident location.

    1. OF course, my thoughts are with Bianchi and those around him.

    2. I think there were double yellows before the SC came out for that corner.

    3. Yes, I think they have to act. You can’t rely on racing drivers to slow down, they’re nuts.
      Look at Kimi’s 1st-lap crash at Silverstone, completely avoidable.

      It’s early days with slow zones (just Dubai & Le Mans 24h so far, I think) but they seem to work, the technology’s there, and it may solve the problem of endless safety-cars and unlapping as well.

  19. Formula-I (@)
    5th October 2014, 9:25

    I really hope the best for Jules, all my pray are for him and hopefully he will be racing again

  20. Disappointed with FIA. Horrible race.
    It should have taken place earlier in the first place. Then we have loooooong safety car even when drivers are begging to race. And all this without a helicopter? what the hell !

    1. On the other hand, great drive by Hamilton, Ric and Seb

  21. It would be terrible if we have our first fatality since May 1st 1994.

  22. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    5th October 2014, 9:26

    Here’s a picture of the scene. Not too graphic, but worrying
    NickHeidfeld: Picture of @Jules_Bianchi crash scene.Hope he is fine!Latest is that he is transported to hospital being unconscious

      1. Heidfeld took the pic down. Good thing, the scene looked terrifying.

        Come on Jules!

      2. I’m not gonna share links, but just search Twitter. The scene doesn’t look “terrifying”…it is a pretty distant shot, but it shows what looks like a wrecked Marussia. GVDG and AFDC shared the pics.

        1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
          5th October 2014, 9:31

          Bad sign that Heidfeld took it down.
          It showed a wrecked Marussia sideways against the recovery truck that we saw on tv.

        2. To me it looked horrendous, looked like Bianchi’s Marrusia had gone under the jcb :\

          1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
            5th October 2014, 9:36

            Here are more pictures, nothing graphic but one shot clearly shows an impact on the from of the left side pod of the Marussia.

  23. Surprised to see celebrations continuing, even if subdued… And very disappointed with the lack of information from the FIA..
    Did I see Charlie Whiting using his fist to describe the impact of the Bianchi crash to Rosberg !?
    I really hope he is ok, that JCB looked like a ticking timebomb in those conditions, really unbelievable they didn’t send out the safety car sooner especially considering how precautious they were at the start.

    1. Things must move on. Yes, it is sad an accident happened (maybe even fatal, but we don’t know yet), but there are prior commitments to TV coverage and sponsors and all that. I feel there is nothing wrong in continuing with the program given the circumstances. Had they cancelled everything, it would have looked worse. Having said that, my thoughts are with Jules Binachi. Stay strong!

    2. “And very disappointed with the lack of information from the FIA.”

      The FIA press officer gave a statement to the media almost as soon as the race ended & told the media all the information they have right now which is that Jules is unconscious & has been transported to hospital.

      Was shown on Sky.

      1. The FIA were telling the media that Senna was alive and getting treatment after they’d told his family he’d died, in circumstances like these press releases aren’t particularly reliable.

  24. And this, people, is why we need modern day cookie-cutter tarmac run-off circuits.

  25. Hope Jules Bianchi will be all right.. nothing serious.. I don’t know… if the race had started earlier when the rain was much lighter (or none), the race would have been run under safer conditions.. IMO.

  26. Not sure I understand. Was he evacuated by helicopter or by road ambulance? @gicu @hanswesterbeek
    This is awful.

    1. Road ambulance with a police escort, according to Sky.

    2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      5th October 2014, 9:34

      Official word is that he went by ambulance, and not by helicopter. But the reasons why are unclear. Some say the helicopter could not fly because of the weather, other’s say that the ambulance could offer some (emergency) services that the helicopter could not, and there’s the hypothesis that it was all too late anyway. But maybe they would not use the helicopter for not too bad injuries and save the helicopter for real emergencies. But the latter theory is actually just me trying to calm down.

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        5th October 2014, 9:50

        Here’s another option – the helicopter was used to transport somebody else, and Bianchi was transported in the ambulance. If a car crashes into a recovery site, it’s not strange to think anybody else than the driver gets injured (too).

        1. No, The helicopter did not take over you could see it parked at The medical center on tv.

  27. Let’s hope Jules is ok… to many people on here complaining about track conditions, helicopter usage, medical conditions and such… there;s time for that tomorrow guys… come on guys let’s keep a positive attitude and hope that Jules is ok… 8)

  28. All thoughts with Jules at the moment. Wishing the best, although it’s not looking good at the moment :/


    remember the last time an f1 car hit a service car.

    1. sorry I got that wrong, he had the concrete, I though he hit the truck.

  30. Really concerned about Bianchi.. Though I think the weather played a role in the crash, it’s inexcusable there’s such a chaotic scene regarding how Bianchi was taken to hospital…

  31. The marshalls do wave yellows at and before the previous (sutil) crash but there must have been a lot of standing water there that caught Bianchi out even when going slightly slower. We saw earlier under SC Ericcson spun out when he got on the power a little bit early.
    The marshalls were just doing their job and removing Sutil’s car as instructed. I don’t think there is a quick way for race control to instruct marshalls in individual situations to say stay clear of the scene.
    Even if Sutil’s car had been left there (in a dangerous spot) the race would have to have been finished under SC at the least.
    Bt I don’t think I would blame the marshalls at all. They are very efficient in Japan and should be applauded for that – it was just a terrible accident that was no one’s fault. Must have been a nasty one for F1 not to show a replay – unless they knew how bad the injury was before the TV pictures came in, which is very quick if so.
    Good luck Jules.

    1. Not just yellow sorry, I mean they should of deployed the saftey car once marshels and tractor were on the very wet track.

  32. Don’t want to sound horrible given what happened to Jules but I can see various things being blamed but surely it’s the driver himself that’s at fault. Double waved yellow flags should have slowed everybody down. Why did he go so fast that he went off? What if a marshal was there. If anything better that tractor than a person.

    1. Conditions were very poor and he was on used inters, I was screaming f8r a safety car , these werent conditions to take a chance and unfortunately this shows why.

    2. all of them were going fast, in f1 it is common to still go fast under yellow. even when you go slower you can still spin off. when the tractor came out, the race director would have been better to put a safety car, then then can totally slow down.

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        5th October 2014, 9:51

        Remember Ericsson spun off behind the safety car. In similar weather conditions. Bianchi could have skidded off doing 60 kph.

        1. This is not comparable, Ericsson spun off when it was so wet they had to red flag it.
          This time it wasn’t even wet enough for full wets. It was desire to go quick that caused it and Jules wasn’t thinking about safety and yes most probably don’t think enough at that moment and probably actually shouldn’t. Safety is concern for organizers. We should perhaps have slow zones where max speed can be enforced, something like pit lane limiters. Whatever way it can be done, it should not be up to drivers to decide what is safe.

          1. Alonso did a similar thing in Brazil many moons ago, nearly killed himself running into Webbers shrapnel.

  33. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    5th October 2014, 9:39

    There will be serious questions to answer and this always would be the case if there was an incident.

    1/ why wasn’t the race moved? Even if the weather didn’t impact on the race (which it did) spectators would still need to travel afterwards safely.
    2/ We know at least one driver said it was too dangerous around 5 laps before the end (Massa confirmed this to Sky)
    3/ why wasn’t there an immediate safety car after Sutil’s crash? It was in a pretty tricky spot.
    4/ Why was the JCB removing the car if there was no safety car? Were yellow flags appropriate?
    5/ Why did the race go ahead with no medical facility? Jules was taken to a local hospital but a bigger facility was over 40 minutes away by road.

    There shouldn’t be knee jerk reactions but after all the warnings this weekend and then a major incident the sport is inevitably going to be under the spotlight. I just hope Jules is okay. Thoughts are with him, those close to him, Marussia and all of the wonderful medics who will be working so hard to help him right now.

    1. “why wasn’t the race moved? ”
      TV coverage is fixed months in advance by booking backhaul and satellites. These can’t be moved.

      1. Well… actually they had an option for earlier – thats what the FIA said. It would of cost a lot more cash though.

    2. Massa was complaining at the start as well when other drivers were giving a green light. His Williams was handling terribly so I wouldn’t take his word.

      I agree that once the JCB was out SC should have been deployed. But a better thing would have been to leave the Sauber there. It posed no threat.

      40 minutes by car is acceptable under FIA regulations.

      1. Cars never should be left on track like that, drivers are supposed to crash into barriers, not cars.

  34. Prayers for Jules Bianchi and his loved ones.

    The rest of everything else doesn’t matter much. The only other thing that may matter is finding out how to prevent such an accident in the future. Back to prying now…

    1. apologies, praying…

  35. It is another race where FIA showed their incompetence. The should have started the race 3 laps earlier, instead we waited for something, I don’t understand what for. When Sutil hit the wall there should have been the SC deployed immediately, instead we wait until a racer hits the tractor.

  36. From what was said about Jules hitting the JCB sideways, this is very worrying since once again the driver’s head is exposed while the car goes underneath the truck which means serious head injuries are to be expected.

    All the best wishes and our prayers go to Jules! I personally fear that we should be prepared to hear about the worst, though.

    1. Even at a low speed that would be extremely likely to cause huge damage to the driver given the difference in heights between the vehicles.
      IF the FIA were to bring in a rule that said no rescue vehicles on track in wet conditions, what effect what that have on wet races?
      I mean would wet races just become totally farcical? I’m not sure that is a rule that would be of benefit to the sport.

      1. It’s not about having no vehicles. It’s about the lack of a saftey car when tractors and marshals are on a wet track. Bad bad bad

      2. I think having come kind of skirt on the vehicles would help a great deal. But ultimately its about risk management. There’s a point somewhere between not racing at all, and the attitude we had in the 50s, at which which we accept risk for a certain amount of benefit/pleasure.

        As an aside, the only thing we can control after these incidents is our response. And I hope the Hindsight Heroes and Knee-Jerkers can all keep control of themselves and be rational and constructive. Paradoxically some accidents are both very unlikely and inevitible, depending how you look at it.

        1. @hey: On the ‘Hindsight Heroes’ issue: let me just say that, the moment I saw a crane so near 130R in wet conditions with no safety car, I knew there was a major risk. It was obvious. Anyone who follows Gary Hartstein’s blog knows that Suzuka is a dangerous circuit, that rescue vehicles on track are also dangerous, and that wet conditions make things worse. We knew about all these dangers beforehand.

          Responsible ‘risk management’ is not a matter of dismissing every accident as a ‘freak’ accident, even when it resulted from a clear and preventable risk.

          1. Indeed. Like I said, it’s an issue of balancing risk vs. benefit. Ultimately, safety has to work to a point at which an accident happens and we can say “you know what; that was so unlikely that we’re not going to risk changing anything. Because we might make things worse, and frankly it might not even be worth it.” Now we’re a fair way off that, but my point is that we should continuously working towards it. Rational people who constantly push for these things all the time are fine, and when accidents like this happen and they say “this type of thing is worth mitigating against. I hope this convinces you” then they’re being constructive. But my point was about the type of person who would have raved about the very safety-car which may have prevented this, and then raves that the accident was preventable and there should have been a safety car. (And that is a “may,” mind: remember Ericcson spinning off behind the safety car).

            You seem like one of the former. I wasn’t suggesting the dismissal of Bianchi’s accident; just that it raises the general question of where we want to be in terms of safety. (Personally I think of Perez’s shunt at the chicane in Monaco, and for the next race after they moved the wall back. Bizarre. Who wasn’t doing their job beforehand? Or what the heck changed in terms of risk management? Safety should be a continuous attitude and a continuous push.)

        2. “I think having come kind of skirt on the vehicles would help a great deal.”

          As has been done in Indycar for over 20 years after an incident where Mario Andretti hit a safety truck.

      3. The SOP is for an accompanying SC. Not sure why that wasn’t followed here.

  37. Just seen some photo on one of the polish websites… it looks horrible. You can see on it the counter weight of this JCB and just couple of rear wheels in front of it and the rest of the back of the car underneath.

  38. This is terrible, I just hope he´s ok! Bianchi is a brilliant driver and an amazing person. Unbelievable how FIA hid the images from the live broadcast though, it was like they turned their heads away from a serious incident that concerned every F1 fan out there. However it wasn´t quite wrong since it was terrifying even without live feed, just imagining the incident and seing the wreck in the distance was terrible… and it´s far from appropiate to comment about the race right now but I really enjoyed it even with the safety car, that actually just built up the expectations for the whole race… as a McLaren fan I felt like Button would´ve outperformed the Mercedes team towards the final laps, his times were superior

  39. I think this accident, besides many other things, showcases the failure to learn the one thing that was to learn from Maria de Vilottas accident: Formula One is pretty save alright, as long as you don’t crash into things that absolutely don’t have any business standing on an active circuit. Her truck, this truck, all nastily heavy things that have rough edges dangling about at about headlevel for a formula one driver. These cars are designed to protect against a very specific sort of accident, and they do it brilliantly, just ask Kubica or Burti or Webber. You don’t even need tirewalls or saferbarriers (Kubica), but you simply cannot have things like trees, trucks or lampposts inside the barriers.
    All the best to Jules.

    1. And people? Can you have marshals inside barriers? Who’s going to help stopped drivers? And how do you recover stopped vehicles?
      It’s easy to point out what is wrong but much harder to come up with solution that works for everybody.

      1. Well in this particular case was there any need for people? if you cannot get the car out of the way without getting a massive obstacle on track let it stand there. if it really is that big of a danger there (in this case i’d say no) get a safety car or a red flag. and if the driver really needs assistance to get out of the car than of course you need at least a safety car.
        And yeah while you are of course right about it being easy to point that out, it just really gets me riled up to get tons of pointless tarmac runoff on the grounds of safety only to have trucks standing on track.

      2. There should have been a safety car as a minimum, if not a red flag – in these conditions, if one car goes off, then another will. Even before Bianchi went off i couldn’t believe they hadn’t reacted

  40. My thoughts and prayers are with Jules Bianchi. I hope he is ok.

  41. There is no point in people suggesting that they should have done this and that before the accident. If no accident had happened there would be no finger-pointing – F1 is a dangerous sport. the drivers know this. In the end jules is seriously injured and we should be thinking of him and his family at this difficult time.

  42. Seems that apart from a freak accident the only real danger to a modern F1 driver is exposure of the head. Hakkinen, Massa, Perez, now Bianchi. It seems head injuries are not uncommon and this seems to have been overlooked.

    So when are we going to have closed cockpits? I think it’s about time, if we’re going to take safety as far as we have then theres no point in stopping 95% of the way. There’s been plenty of cool concepts, it can be done.

    F1 is always advancing, always changing. The cars never look the same from one generation to the next. I really think it’s time to introduce closed cockpits….And I’m what some would call a purist!

  43. Really hope Bianchi will be ok!

  44. After looking at the pictures, it seems more than understood that the Marussia made a very heavy contact with the troctor, continued rolling underneath, and settled below the tractor.

    This would have exposed Jules’ s head directly to the tractor’s underbody.

    And then they talk about track safety, Safety car, FIA, FOM, Management……

    Jules, race your way back to us.

  45. Thoughts with Bianchi, hoping for some good news. It’s hard to gauge how bad this one is but it certainly seems pretty serious.

  46. Not sure how accurate this is but twitter has just been flooded with reports that Jules father has confirmed on French TV that his son is in a critical condition and is currently being operated on.

    if it is true though then the positive is that he is still alive.

  47. I am going to refrain from speculation. The longer we go with so little information is a massive concern, the reaction of the drivers interviewed too adds to the gravity of the situation. Like millions of others, I am praying that this sport hasn’t run out of miracles at the expense of such a young and talented man.

  48. Felipe Bianchi (Bianchi’s father) said to FRANCE 3 (Tv) his son is having surgery due to head injuries.

    1. Here you can FRANCE 3 video (In french obviously) “Il est en train d’être opéré d’un hématome à la tête”

  49. Apparently Mika Salo reported that Bianchi’s Marussia went under the tractor nose first…..

    Definitely not good. I hope he comes out of it ok, but even if he does live I doubt he’ll race again. Very sad as the kid has talent.

  50. This has been coming for a long time. Totally agree with @mrboerns. Tractors, loaders, cranes versus racing car – even a very, very low-speed collision risks a fatality as the car slides under and the 600kg car is stopped by the driver’s head.

    Wasn’t there a near miss at Hungary? When KMag went off at T1. And another istr when a car hit the crane’s wheel?

    It was just a matter of time. Almost anything would be better – leave the car there, use a long rope to tow the car with the tractor behind the barrier, or fit underrun protection to the circuit vehicles, or a combination or some other solution maybe. I knew it would take something like this to make FIA wake up to it :(

    They’ll do something now. Let’s hope it’s not too late for Jules Bianchi.

  51. Get well Jules.
    Now, I’ve seen the pictures and people saying closed cockpit is now needed are wrong. If he had that crash in a closed cockpit, it would’ve been much worse imo. You’d have all that structure needing to go somewhere and most likely it would’ve done Jules more damage.

  52. Hope he could be ok.

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