Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Hockenheimring, 2014

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

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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. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      5th October 2014, 10:18

      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. The F1 master
      5th October 2014, 10:07

      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 F1 master
      5th October 2014, 10:12

      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. skywalker