Formula 1

Jules Bianchi accident highlights both sides of F1 spectrum

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As the F1 world continues to wait for information regarding the condition of Jules Bianchi, his incident on Sunday has proved an unwelcome reminder of how dangerous the sport can be.

The Frenchman remains in a critical but stable condition in a Suzuka hospital after suffering a severe head injury caused by hitting the back of a JCB during the rain-hit race in Japan.

Outpouring of support

The crash has led to an outpouring of support on social media with everyone part of the F1 family, fans, drivers, teams and journalists uniting under the hash tag #ForzaJules.

The response has also proven how, in a year dominated by a rivalry between two drivers at the front and uncertainty over the fate of smaller teams towards the back, despite most having an allegiance to one driver or one team, it is F1 itself that we are the biggest fans of and when something of this scale occurs, regardless of who it is or who he drives for, the sport comes together.

Marussia thanked the fans for their wishes while calling for patience regarding Bianchi's condition as Jules' family arrived at the hospital where his injuries are now been cared for by the same doctor who treated Michael Schumacher following his skiing accident in December, Professor Gerard Saillant.

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As the sport comes to terms with the events of Sunday, some attention is being paid on how F1 should learn from Bianchi's incident.

Bernie Ecclestone has called for an investigation into the crash as has FIA President Jean Todt.

There remains plenty of opinions too as to what could have been done differently in the time between Adrian Sutil's car crashing and the moment Bianchi hit the tractor in the process of recovering the German's Sauber.

Most believe the safety car should have been called earlier as the deteriorating weather meant it was increasingly possible another car could have the same crash as Sutil, others have pointed to the size of the yellow flag zone with the official section of circuit under that caution beginning quite far round the long, left-hand corner.

F1 forever dangerous

Regardless of how the sport responds and what changes it makes, Bianchi's incident has proven an unwelcome reminder that, despite all the efforts that have been made to increase safety in the last few decades, there is still a high level of danger involved in driving these very powerful and very fast racing cars.

It also highlights that while contingencies can be made for most situations, scenarios remain that can not be either planned for or should be expected.

It's almost incredible to think the sport has had this incredible reminder just a matter of weeks after a group was set up to look into making F1 cars harder to drive, while its irrelevant whether this was a freak accident or not having a young man currently fighting for his life proves that being a F1 driver is never easy.

Remembering priorities

There is a sense that the sport has come back down to earth in recent days, after all, considering the hype surrounding which team Fernando Alonso will drive at next year or whether Lewis Hamilton has the edge on Nico Rosberg just seems out of place and so small when a young man inside our F1 family is undergoing the suffering that Bianchi is.

Everyone, including the championship contenders, admitted the result in Suzuka meant very little on Sunday, it likely won't again this weekend in Sochi, as F1 heads to Russia for the first time.

Bernie Ecclestone echoed everyone when he told the Times newspaper: "This happened to a young man who is very close to us all and that has caused a terrible shock for everyone. Our thoughts are with him and his family."

And until we know Jules Bianchi is OK and starting on that road to recovery he is only thing that matters in F1 and that is quite rightly so.

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