FORMULA One driver Jules Bianchi is no longer in a coma and has been transferred to a hospital in his native France, seven weeks after his life-threatening crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Bianchi, who suffered severe head injuries when his Marussia car ploughed into a trackside recovery vehicle, remains unconscious and in a critical condition but is now able to breathe without the aid of a machine and doctors have turned their focus to improving his brain function. The 25-year-old will continue his recovery at Nice’s university hospital, his family said in a statement yesterday.
“Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious,” the statement said.
“He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as ‘critical’. His treatment now enters a new phase concerned with the improvement of his brain function. Jules’ neurological condition remains stable. Although the situation continues to be serious, and may remain so, it was decided that Jules was sufficiently stable to be repatriated to his native France.”
Bianchi suffered the horror crash in torrential conditions at the Suzuka circuit on 5 October when his car aquaplaned into a tractor that was tending to the Sauber of Adrian Sutil. He underwent emergency surgery in Yokkaichi, where he had remained critically ill until his transfer back to France.
Bianchi’s team could yet return to the grid for this week’s season finale in Abu Dhabi. Marussia missed the last two races after going into administration but were hopeful of a deal with investors that would allow them to race.