Formula One driver Jules Bianchi is in critical condition after suffering a serious head injury Sunday during a race conducted as Typhoon Phanfone made its way toward Japan, bringing torrential rains to the island nation during the race.
Bianchi, a 25-year-old Frenchman who races for Ferrari’s Marussia team, was rushed to a local hospital in an ambulance after the crash, which occurred on lap 45 of the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzaka.
Read on for more about the crash and Bianchi’s condition.
1. Bianchi Unconscious When He Left the Track
Matto Bonciani, a spokesman for the FIA, Formula One racing’s governing body, told reporters at the track that Bianchi was unconscious when treated by emergency crews on the scene. Drivers who suffer serious injuries are often transported in helicopters, but Bonciani said the weather made helicopter transport impossible, prompting officials to transport Bianchi in an ambulance.
2. A CT Scan Revealed a ‘Severe Head Injury’
The FIA said in a statement that Bianchi was transported to Mie General Hospital, where a CT sscan showed he had suffered a “severe head injury” that required surgery.
The organization said the hospital would provide an update as soon as more information became available.
3. There Are Conflicting Reports on Whether Bianchi Is Out of Surgery
NBC Sports’ Motor Sports Talk notes that there have been conflicting reports Sunday night on whether Bianchi had emerged from surgery and whether he was breathing on his own.
Motor Sports Talk reported that Ferrari had denied those reports and given no further updates on his condition.
4. Bianchi Injured His Head When His Car Hit a Recovery Vehicle
Bianchi suffered the head injury when he lost control of his car and hit a recovery vehicle that was on the track to remove a stranded car that had been driven by Adrian Sutil, who lost control of the car and crashed on Turn Seven, according to the FIA.
On the next lap, Bianchi lost control of his car in the same area, prompting officials to dispatch a safety car and a medical car to tend to Bianchi.
A short time later, officials announced that the race would not resume following Bianchi’s injury, handing a victory to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who was ahead at the end of the 44th lap — the last lap completed before Bianchi’s injury.
5. The Race Was Held as Typhoon Phanfone Brought Torrential Rain to Japan
The race was held as the typhoon moved toward Japan and brought with it torrential rain. The track was full of spectators wearing rain gear and carrying umbrellas, and the race was briefly halted for a weather delay when conditions became too dangerous to race.
But the rain lightened shortly after the race was delayed, prompting officials to resume the race shortly before Bianchi crashed.