French F1 driver Jules Bianchi dies nine months after crash at Japan GP


French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi on Friday died from head injuries he suffered during a brutal crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” the Bianchi family said in a statement on Saturday.

Bianchi, who would have been 26 next month, was fighting for his life while in a coma under controlled medical conditions in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire hospital in Nice.

On Monday, Bianchi’s father Pierre has said he was less optimistic his son would be able to recover fully after making no significant progress during the last nine months.

The Bianchi family thanked “everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times” on Saturday and asked for privacy in their moment of grief.

Bianchi raced in 34 Grand Prix races through the course of his career and joined the Marussia team in 2013. He won two championship points before unfortunately colliding with a rescue vehicle in the Japan Grand Prix.