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GP Week : Issue 211
Jules Bianchi continues to receive treatment in Japan for severe head trauma after his major accident at suzuka. The Frenchman was breathing unassisted on Monday following the accident, which saw his Marussia MR03 strike a recover y vehicle side- on at Turn 7. The vehicle was in a track run-off area to attend to Adrian Sutil’s Sauber, which had run of f at the same point on the previous lap. No Safety Car had been deployed for the Sutil incident, though one was scrambled immediately news came that Bianchi had suffered a heavy collision. The race was red-flagged shortly thereafter. According to the FIA, Bianchi was unconscious as he was transported by ambulance to the nearby Mie General Hospital. Once there he under went CT scans that revealed a “severe head injur y” before he under went surger y. Post-op he was transferred to an ICU. Sky Sports has reported that Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci, Williams driver Felipe Massa and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado maintained a vigil for the 25-year- old that ended only af ter he emerged from surger y. There were also reports that Fernando Alonso and other drivers attended the hospital during the course of the night. There is no word on how long Bianchi’s recover y might take, or when he might be able to travel back to Europe. There is no word on whether Marussia will run one of its test drivers at Sochi in Bianchi’s place. It named Alexander Rossi to the role af ter he ended a similar deal with Caterham in July, and last week nominated Will Stevens as a tester. The Brit was originally thought to have been in line to drive in FP1 at Suzuka but the team ran its regular drivers instead. Rossi at least has some F1 experience, but the likelihood of running such an inexperienced driver in the race would mean that a tester would is unlikely to be required for FP1 Friday. The race was held in difficult conditions, and started behind a Safety Car before being red-flagged. Rain continued through most of the race, though it was light enough for drivers to switch onto Intermediate tyres almost as soon as the Safety Car pulled off. However there was criticism of the reluctance of the race promoters to consider bringing forward the start time of the race, in light of the expected arrival of Typhoon Phanfone, which as expected impacted on the track from Sunday morning. According to repor ts, FIA officials t wice suggested that the race start be brought forward four hours to 11am local time, but the promoters stuck to their original time. There is expected to be a full investigation into the Sutil and Bianchi incidents, to determine how it came to be that a Safety Vehicle was active in a run- off area, without a Safety Car being deployed, in wet conditions. F1 >>> nEWs bianchi stable after crash 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: