SUZUKA: French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has suffered severe head injuries and underwent surgery after a crash that cast a pall over yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix.
The unconscious Marussia driver was taken by road ambulance to Mie General Hospital near the Suzuka circuit after the accident that brought out red flags and led to the race being stopped early.
"The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and is currently undergoing surgery," the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in an update on his condition.
"Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored.
Bianchi, a graduate of Ferrari's young driver academy, is seen as an up-and-coming talent in Formula One after scoring Marussia's first ever points when he finished ninth at this year's Monaco Grand Prix.
The accident occurred at the same point of the track, the Dunlop Curve, where Adrian Sutil had aquaplaned off a lap earlier and involved a tractor that was lifting the stricken Sauber.
The FIA confirmed Bianchi had hit the back of the recovery vehicle as he skidded off.
The crash brought out the safety and medical cars and led to the race, already threatened by the advancing Typhoon Phanfone, being red flagged and not re-started with the result declared after 44 of the 53 scheduled laps.
There were no podium celebrations and the champagne was left unsprayed, with the top three drivers merely clinking the bottles before putting them back on the ground.