Instead of my normal “quick result” post on the F1 results this weekend, unfortunately I have some bad news to report. During the Japanese Grand Prix, Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi was involved in a severe collision near the end of what was already a pretty sketchy race. With a typhoon looming over Japan the Suzuka circuit was wet for most of the weekend. In fact the race was red flagged once in the beginning of the event due to a significant down-pour. When the rain let off the FIA decided to resume the race but later on the rains returned once again drenching the track.
Because of the tricky conditions Adrian Sutil lost control at turn 7, going off course and getting stuck in the run-off area. The race continued with a local yellow in that area but fears began to grow that Sutil may have been seriously injured. A recovery vehicle with a crane was deployed to extract Sutil’s car from the run off but during that time Jules Bianchi also lost control in turn 7 but instead of going into the run off his car went towards the scene of the accident at high speed and collided with the recovery vehicle.
Once the medical team and track workers reached Bianchi and realized the extent of his injuries they called for another red flag and eventually called the race with less than 10 laps to go. Rather than air-lift Bianchi to the local hospital he was taken via ambulance with police escort. There are conflicting reports that an air-lift was declined due to the weather conditions. Bianchi was unconscious upon arrival and immediately underwent brain surgery for what was described as a “severe head injury”
After surgery Jules was moved to the intensive care unit and is said to be breathing on his own, which is good news. Although the full extent of his injuries are still unknown and will probably remain that way for sometime while the driver recovers.
I can tell already that in the coming weeks there will be heated discussions about this incident in regards to who was to blame, what should have been done, what needs to be done in the future, etc. I say as long as it all remains objective, rational, respectful, and civil bring it on. Hopefully, this horrible occurrence will result in rules, regulations, or innovations that will increase the already advanced safety of Formula 1.
As for the results of the race, Lewis Hamilton was awarded the victory as he was in front when the race was called. Nico Rosberg earned second place and Sebastian Vettel got third. Naturally the podium ceremony was very much subdued from is normal fanfare.
As soon as any updates are reported from credible sources I will try to update this post as well. For now my thoughts are with Jules Bianchi, his family, friends, and the Marussia F1 team.