Father 'less optimistic' about Bianchi recovering

Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:18pm EDT
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(Reuters) - The father of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi says he is "less optimistic" that his son will recover from the severe head injuries he suffered in a Japanese Grand Prix crash last October.

Bianchi, 25, has been in a coma since the accident at Suzuka and is now in hospital in Nice, near his parents' home in the south of France.

"In general, progress needs to be made in the first six months," Philippe Bianchi told France Info radio on Monday. "And now it's been nine months and Jules has still not woken up and there is no significant progress.

"As time goes by, it makes me less optimistic than I might have been two or three months after the accident when one might have hoped for a better outcome," he added.

Bianchi, who crashed his Marussia into a recovery tractor in wet conditions and fading light, suffered the most serious F1 race injury since Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna died at Imola in 1994.

An International Automobile Federation (FIA) report said in December the Frenchman, who had scored the team's first points in Monaco earlier in the year, had not slowed sufficiently under warning flags before crashing.

The report found that Bianchi's car hit the tractor at 126 kph and said medical services were not at fault in their handling of the aftermath.

Bianchi's father said in May the family had not given up hope of a miracle but recognized they had to be prepared for the worst.

"It's hard to get up in the morning while telling yourself that you're not sure whether your son is going to live and every day is like that," said Philippe Bianchi.   Continued...

Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of France speaks to the media after a news conference at the Suzuka circuit October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino