Jules Bianchi dies nine months after crash in Japanese F1 GP

Jules Bianchi's family has announced that the 25-year-old Frenchman died on Friday night, nine months after his crash in Formula 1's 2014 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka

Jules Bianchi dies nine months after crash in Japanese F1 GP

Bianchi had been in a coma since the accident, in which he suffered a diffuse axonal injury after colliding with a recovery vehicle while driving for Marussia.

He was initially treated at the Mie Prefecture medical centre in Japan before being transferred to a facility in Nice a month after the crash.

Although rehabilitation therapy began late last year, in May Bianchi's father Philippe admitted that the family's hopes were fading and his death was announced in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Melanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix," said a statement from the Bianchi family.

"Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.

"The pain we feel is immense and indescribable.

"We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice's CHU who looked after him with love and dedication.

"We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.

"Furthermore, we thank Jules' colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.

"Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.

"We would like to ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time, while we try to come to terms with the loss of Jules."

Bianchi, whose great uncle Lucien was a sportscar and F1 racer in the 1950s and '60s, was a Ferrari protege who won French Formula Renault and European Formula 3 titles in 2007 and '09 respectively.

He reached F1 via campaigns in GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5, spending 2012 as Force India's third driver before getting a race seat with Marussia the following year.

He famously scored the team's first points with ninth place in the 2014 Monaco GP.

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Tributes to Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi after his death

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