The fate of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi remains uppermost in the minds of the motorsport world as Formula One heads to Sochi this weekend for the maiden Russian Grand Prix.
The Frenchman suffered serious head injuries after hitting a recovery vehicle attempting to retrieve the Sauber of Adrian Sutil on lap 43 of last Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The Russian race has already been drawing criticism from human rights and pro-democracy groups, claiming holding the event is an endorsement of Vladimir Putin’s actions in eastern Ukraine, where a brutal civil war – fuelled by Russian intervention – continues to rage.
Doctors looking after Bianchi meanwhile claim the unfortunate 25 year old has suffered a ‘diffuse axonal injury’ – commonly witnessed in road accidents – where the brain moves within the skull as a result of rapid speed changes. In response the brain often suffers swelling, restricting blood flow and sometimes causing further brain damage. However, no details on the actual level of injury inflicted on Bianchi has been released.
There is encouraging news for the Bianchi family and F1 community at large however, as the news filtered through earlier this week that Michael Schumacher’s recovery from a head injury in a skiing accident in December was progressing ‘better than expected’ and that the German was ‘fighting’ in the words of FIA president Jean Todt.