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Formula One: Marussia request patience on Jules Bianchi's condition

updated 6:33 AM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
Jules Bianchi is regarded as one of Formula One's most promising young drivers. Jules Bianchi is regarded as one of Formula One's most promising young drivers.
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Bianchi crash mars Japan GP
Bianchi crash mars Japan GP
Bianchi crash mars Japan GP
Bianchi crash mars Japan GP
Bianchi crash mars Japan GP
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Formula One team calls for "patience and understanding" following Jules Bianchi crash
  • Frenchman suffered "severe head injury" after hitting a recovery vehicle at Japan GP
  • The 25-year-old underwent emergency surgery on Sunday and is in intensive care

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(CNN) -- Formula One team Marussia has asked for "patience and understanding" regarding updates on the condition of their driver Jules Bianchi who underwent emergency brain surgery following a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Bianchi suffered a "severe head injury" after coming off the track and colliding with a recovery vehicle that was removing Adrian Sutil's Sauber car. The German driver had come off the track at turn seven moments earlier.

The 25-year-old Frenchman was taken by ambulance to hospital in nearby Yokkaichi where he remains in intensive care.

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"With regard to the communication of information concerning Jules' medical condition, we will respect, and be guided by, the wishes of the Bianchi family. Together with Jules' care, they will remain our highest priority," a statement on the F1 team's official website said.

"Therefore, we would ask for patience and understanding with regard to further medical updates, which will be communicated in conjunction with the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi, where Jules is being treated, when they feel it is appropriate."

Marussia say they have received a "huge outpouring of support and affection" for the stricken driver.

Sunday's grand prix, which was won by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, was contested in treacherous conditions as heavy rain from Typhoon Phanfone swept across circuit.

The race was eventually stopped on lap 46 of a scheduled 53, after Bianchi's crash, with the track shrouded in mist and rain.

Messages of support from Bianchi's fellow drivers flooded in as news of his injury filtered through.

"Our first thoughts go to Jules," Hamilton tweeted. "It overshadows everything when one of our colleagues is injured and we're praying for him."

Teammate Nico Rosberg, who finished second, echoed the Briton's sentiments. "We are all hoping for some positive news," the German said.

The Ferrari F1 team also tweeted messages of support -- Bianchi is part of the Italian racing marque's driver academy.

Born in Nice, Bianchi is rated one of the most promising young drivers in the sport and recently claimed Marussia's first points in F1 with a ninth-place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix last May.

Driver safety back in spotlight

The crash has raised fresh questions about driver safety in F1.

Some have criticizing the FIA's (motorsport's governing body) race control for not deploying the safety car earlier after track conditions deteriorated.

"I was already screaming on the radio five laps before the safety car that there was too much water on the track," Williams' driver Felipe Massa told SkySports after the race.

"But they took a bit too long and it was dangerous. So we saw that there were some crashes at the end," the Brazilian added.

Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes it's time to reevaluate the protocol regarding the deployment of the safety car.

"The rules have to be changed concerning the safety car," Villeneuve told Autosport.com.

"When I was racing, and afterwards, I was always saying that any time there is an accident there should be a safety car.

"There should not be room for judgment. If someone has to go out to pick up a car stranded on the track, it's simple. Accident - safety car, and that's it.

"It should have been like that for years. America has had that forever," said Villeneuve, who was Indy Car World Series champion in 1995.

The FIA told CNN that they are currently reviewing safety procedures and will release a statement in due course.

Life-threatening crashes like Bianchi's are rare in modern F1.

The sport hasn't experienced a driver fatality during a race weekend since 1994 when three-time world champion Ayrton Senna and Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger both died at the wheel at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

Today cockpits are extremely robust and rigorously tested by the FIA. Robert Kubica's horrific crash at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2007 displayed just how resilient the monocoque structure the drivers sit in can be.

Read more: Bianchi suffers 'severe head injury'

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