Jules Bianchi passed away on Friday night, the Frenchman’s parents announced in a statement, nine months after his accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old had been in a coma since the crash, in which he suffered a diffuse axonal injury when he lost control of his Marussia car in wet conditions, sliding into a recovery vehicle which was tending to Adrian Sutil’s Sauber at the time.
He underwent several operations in a Japanese hospital before being transferred to a facility in Nice to be closer to his family.
However his family confirmed on Saturday morning that “his battle came to an end” on Friday night.
“It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Melanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix,” confirmed a statement.
“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end. The pain we feel is immense and indescribable.
“We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication.
“We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.
“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.
“Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.
“We would like to ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time, while we try to come to terms with the loss of Jules.”