Bianchi’s condition unchanged

Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury to his brain after hitting a recovery truck at Suzuka on October 5 at high speed.

The Marussia driver was taken out of his induced coma nearly seven weeks later and transferred to the University Hospital in Nice in his native France.

In a statement marking the ‘conclusion of a difficult year for our family’, Jules’ parents, Philippe and Christine, said: “Jules’ neurological status remains unchanged; he is unconscious but able to breathe unaided. Whilst there is no significant information to report, we take a great deal of comfort from the fact that Jules continues to fight, as we knew he would, and this has enabled the medical professionals caring for him to commence the planned, but very painstaking, programme of rehabilitation therapy.

“As we reflect on the events of the past few months, we would like to acknowledge once again the overwhelming warmth and affection shown towards our son. These continue to be challenging times for our family, but the knowledge that he has touched the lives of so many people all around the world has helped us through.”

Bianchi, a graduate of Ferrari’s Young Driver Programme, spun off towards the end of a rain-soaked Japanese GP and struck a tractor which was retrieving the crashed Sauber of Adrian Sutil.

An investigation into the accident carried out by the FIA’s 10-man Accident Panel concluded that Bianchi “did not slow sufficiently” behind the double-yellow flags being waved for Sutil’s stricken Sauber. Analysis of the incident found that Bianchi’s Marussia hit the truck at a speed of 126kph.

The panel delivered a series of recommendations in the wake of the accident, including clerks of the course imposing speed limits for sections of track affected by double yellow flags, a review of safety critical software and new guidelines on track drainage.

Bianchi family statement in full:
‘The parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, would like to provide the following update regarding Jules’ medical situation:

“As we reach the conclusion of a difficult year for our family, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a further update regarding Jules’ medical situation, per our pledge to communicate continued information, when appropriate, to his many fans.

“It was a significant and very comforting step for us to be able to bring Jules home to France last month, to continue his rehabilitation surrounded by his family and friends. This is very important for Jules and also for us.

“Since that time, Jules has received the very best treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU) and now at the CHU’s rehabilitation centre for this kind of trauma.

“Jules’ neurological status remains unchanged; he is unconscious but able to breathe unaided. Whilst there is no significant information to report, we take a great deal of comfort from the fact that Jules continues to fight, as we knew he would, and this has enabled the medical professionals caring for him to commence the planned, but very painstaking, programme of rehabilitation therapy.

“As we reflect on the events of the past few months, we would like to acknowledge once again the overwhelming warmth and affection shown towards our son. These continue to be challenging times for our family, but the knowledge that he has touched the lives of so many people all around the world has helped us through.

“We would also like to acknowledge the respect and support shown by the media towards our family during this time, for which we are extremely grateful.

“We will continue to provide information when it is possible to do so and our sincere appreciation to everyone who continues to pray for Jules.”

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