Jules Bianchi crash update: Philippe Bianchi reveals 'the situation is desperate' but stresses his son will continue to fight

Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury in a horrific freak accident during the Japanese Grand Prix and remains in a critical but stable condition

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The Independent Online

The father of Jules Bianchi has said that his son “will not give up” but has described the situation surrounding the Formula One driver as “desperate” as he continues to fight for his life due to injuries sustained to his head in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Bianchi suffered diffuse axonal injury

Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury when he went off the Suzuka track in wet conditions and hit a recovery vehicle at high speed. The tractor was already on the track due to a crash involving Adrian Sutil, and has led to a detailed report and investigation into how the sport can be made safer when such accidents occur.

Bianchi is being treated in Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi where he remains in a “critical but stable condition”, and his father Philippe has spoken in detail for the first time since the Bianchi family issued a statement to confirm his injuries last week.

“The situation is desperate,” said Philippe Bianchi. “Every time the telephone goes, we know it could be the hospital to tell us that Jules is dead.

“He will not give up, I'm sure of that. I can see it. I believe it.”

 

The father of the 25-year-old Frenchman added in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gezzetta dello Sport: “I speak to him. I know he can hear me.

“His doctors have told us that this is already a miracle, no one has ever survived such a serious accident. But Jules won't give-up.

“His trainer Andrea says that if there is one person who can make it happen, with his will, it's Jules.”

A number of tributes and messages of support were on show at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, where winner Lewis Hamilton dedicated his victory to the absent Marussia driver. The remaining 21 drivers gathered at the front of the grid to pay tribute to Bianchi before the race began, and there was a sombre mood hanging over the entire weekend as driver safety once again came into question.

Philippe Bianchi added that the family have been touched by the level of support they have received not just from the world of F1, but across the globe. As well as drivers such as Hamilton and Fernando Alonso writing to Philippe, Moto GP world champion Marc Marquez and motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi have also made contact to pass on their best wishes in the hope that Bianchi can make a recovery.

“I've never seen anything like that,” added Philippe . “It touched us very deeply. We thank every one of them. So many of them have been in touch, written to me; [Fernando] Alonso, [Jean-Eric] Vergne, [Felipe] Massa have given strong messages.

“Hamilton wrote me a beautiful email in which he says that if there is anything he can do, he's there. Rossi and Marquez from Moto GP too.”

Red_Bull.jpgThe severe head injury that Bianchi suffered nine days ago brought back harrowing memories of the skiing accident that left seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher with a similar injury, having hit his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in France at the end of 2013.

Philippe admitted that he is using Schumacher’s slow but progressive recovery as a reference point, and now understands why Schumacher’s family and management team waited weeks and sometimes months before giving an update on his condition. “I was very sad when he [Schumacher] got hurt,” said Philippe. “I kept wondering, like everyone else 'Why don't they tell us more about how he is?'.

“But now I'm in the same position I understand. Everyone keeps asking me how Jules is but I can't reply, there is no answer. It's very serious, but he's stable.

Jules-Bianchi-car.jpg“One day he seems a bit better, other days bit worse. The doctors don't say. The damage from the accident is very bad but we don't know how it will evolve.

“Even with Schumacher it took months to come out of the coma. [FIA president] Jean Todt said he hopes Michael will one day be able to have a normal life. One day I hope we can say the same abut Jules.”

Schumacher is now recovering at his home in Switzerland where Todt recently visited him. Philippe went on to explain how terrifying the last nine days has been since his son suffered the horrific freak crash, and explained the entire family is “living a nightmare.”

He added: “It's tough. In a week the life of this family has been destroyed. What are we doing here? Living a nightmare in a place very far from home.

“But when Jules gets a bit better we can transfer him, maybe to Tokyo and things will be a bit easier. But who knows when that will happen. If it will happen. We have no certainties, we just have to wait.”

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