Yokkaichi: Jules Bianchi's father was rushing to Japan Monday where the Formula One driver was in intensive care with a serious head injury, after one of the worst crashes the sport has seen in nearly two decades.
The French driver underwent emergency surgery on Sunday after slamming into a recovery vehicle on the Suzuka track near the end of a rain-sodden Japanese Grand Prix. Formula One's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said the 25-year-old Marussia driver had been rushed to hospital after suffering a "severe head injury".
A small crowd of journalists had gathered Monday outside the Mie Prefectural General Medical Centre in Yokkaichi, the nearest hospital to the track. The hospital was refusing to comment on the driver's condition, citing patient privacy and directing enquiries to the FIA.
An AFP reporter at the scene said Marussia team principal John Booth and team general manager Graeme Lowdon had arrived at the facility. Both men appeared to have slept little and deflected questions on the driver's condition.
Venezuelan Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado was also seen at the hospital, where Felipe Massa had been spotted Sunday evening. All three drivers are represented by agent Nicolas Todt, who was understood to be on his way to Yokkaichi from Paris.
Bianchi's father was flying from France to be at his son's bedside and was expected to arrive at the hospital Monday evening. "Jules is seriously injured," Philippe Bianchi told France 3 television on Sunday. "He is undergoing surgery for a head injury and we will need to wait 24 hours to know any more on his condition."
An unconscious Bianchi had to be removed from the wreckage of his car after the horror smash, which happened as he ploughed into a recovery vehicle lifting Adrian Sutil's prone Sauber away from danger after the German had skidded into a wall on lap 42.