According to a news release from Jules Bianchi’s parents, the driver has emerged from his induced coma and is breathing unaided. The driver had been kept in a coma at the hospital in Yokkaichi since crashing out of the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on the 5th October.
After 7 weeks of intensive care treatment in Japan, he was flown back to France earlier this week, and is currently in the intensive care unit in a hospital in Nice where he will continue to be monitored.
The brief statement from Bianchi’s parents did not include any further information about the driver’s current condition or indicate a prognosis about what may happen next for the driver.
Jules Bianchi crashed his Marussia into a recovery vehicle while the Japanese Grand Prix was under a yellow flag, and there has been much debate since the accident about safety in grand prix racing. He suffered a type of broad brain injury called a diffuse axonal injury which was caused by the extreme G-forces he endured during the accident.
Bianchi’s parents said that following the initial phase of treatment in Japan to stabilise his condition the driver will now undergo treatment to improve his brain function.
Recovery from this type of injury can be lengthy and complex due to the varying severity. While some patients such as the TV personality Richard Hammond do go on to lead normal lives, the prognosis for patients who have suffered as severe an injury as Bianchi is generally quite poor, with limited scope for recovery beyond basic function, although the people around him remain hopeful that he can make a full recovery.
The accident was the worst in F1 since 2009 when Felipe Massa was injured by a loose part falling off the Brawn of Rubens Barrichello, and has led to a major re-think about the deployment of safety cars in the sport.