French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi is undergoing surgery following a severe head injury in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The event had been under threat as Typhoon Phanfone approached Japan from the Pacific Ocean and the red flag had been red flagged after two laps over fears of driver safety.
It hit him hard. That is all I can say. I was just standing there. We know that it is serious at the moment. F1 driver Adrian Sutil
This didn’t stop Bianchi skidding off the wet race track on his 46th lap and colliding with a recovery vehicle. He crashed off the track on the same corner where German driver Adrian Sutil had crashed on a lap earlier.
Bianchi’s car collided with the recovery vehicle that was attending to Sutil’s car. He was taken by ambulance to the nearby Mie General Hospital where he was given a CT scan.
A statement from the FIA said: “The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and is currently undergoing surgery.
“Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored. Mie General Hospital will issue an update as soon as further information becomes available.”
Sutil, who was not injured in his earlier crash, said drivers were not able to see wet patches on the track as evening set in.
“It was quite difficult. In the end we got more rain and it was dark so was getting less and less and this corner was a tricky one the whole way through,” he said.
“In the end, when it got dark, you couldn’t see where the wet patches were and that is why I lost the car and it really surprised me.
“It was the same as what happened to me, he had aquaplaning but just one lap later.
“It hit him hard. That is all I can say. I was just standing there. We know that it is serious at the moment.”