The father of stricken Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has revealed the family`s anguish as they continue to hold a bedside vigil in the hope he will "win the biggest qualifying lap of his life."
Marussia team driver Bianchi remains in a "stable but critical" condition at a hospital in Japan following his a crash at the Suzuka circuit nine days ago.
While tributes from the world of sport continue to pour in for 25-year-old Bianchi, father Philippe and mother Christine wait anxiously by his bedside looking and praying for the slimmest signs of life.
"There are times when I look at Jules lying there in bed, without a scratch, I have to give him a peck on the cheek and say, `Come on get up, what are you doing lying there?," Philippe Bianchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport Tuesday.
"In the space of a week our family life has been destroyed. It`s a nightmare. All we can do is wait and hope."
Philippe Bianchi, who runs a well-known French karting club in Brignoles, "spent my life around motor-racing". But, he added: "How can I even think about going back on a track."
Bianchi underwent surgery for severe head injuries and remains in intensive care, drawing parallels with the sport`s most successful modern-day icon, Michael Schumacher.
Schumacher is said to be "waking up very slowly" from a medically induced coma after suffering severe head injuries from a skiing accident last December.
Bianchi said he now understands what the Schumacher family have gone through: "I kept wondering, `Why don`t they tell us more about how he is?`
"But now 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."
He added: "We`re desperate. Every time the phone rings we know it could be the hospital to say that Jules is dead."
Race conditions at Suzuka, where Bianchi careered off the track in extreme weather conditions and collided with an on-track recovery vehicle at high-speed, have prompted criticism in the wake of the tragedy.
Four-time world champion Alain Prost hit out: "It is cars and tracks that have been improved and there was only one thing left: it was this f****** truck on the track.
"I was furious. I was really shocked by the accident."
Bianchi refuses to speak about the race for fear of going "crazy".
"It`s not the right time. I haven`t seen the video and I don`t want to see it. I would go crazy," he added.
"We have to keep our energy for Jules, to make him feel we are here and that we want to bring him home."
Bianchi is also drawing encouragement from the drivers, teams and fans -- including those from motorcycling -- who have written and called to offer their support
"I`ve never seen anything like it. It has really touched us. I want to thank all the people who have contacted us. (Jean-Eric) Vergne, (Fernando) Alonso, (Felipe) Massa all sent us nice messages," he said.
"(Lewis) Hamilton wrote us a lovely email in which he said if he can do anything for us, he will. We also saw (Valentino) Rossi, (Marc) Marquez and other MotoGP drivers with stickers made by Vergne.
"We`re sure Jules can feel all this love and positive energy.
"The doctors have already said it`s a miracle... that no one has ever survived such a serious accident.
"But Jules won`t give up. He is strong, he will win the biggest qualifying lap of his life."