Months had flown. Jules Bianchi, 25-year old Frenchman and Marussia driver, still in coma after a terrible accident at the Suzuka, Japanese Grand Prix 2014. Jules Bianchi remains in a French hospital and doctors has begun a program of rehabilitation therapy, according to a statement released by his family earlier this month.
I still remember Jules Bianchi expressing his desire to race for Ferrari when the rumors are doing round that Fernando Alonso may seek drive else where in 2015. And he is considered as a deserving candidate!
Coming to the accident. Jules Bianchi skidded off the track in wet conditions and collided with a recovery vehicle. He suffered a brain injury which is called as Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury.
Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury is actually one of the most common types of injuries, but also one of the most severe types that can lead to death. It is called diffuse because unlike some other brain injuries that are focal, in one generalized area; this type is widespread affecting a larger area.
Unlike some of the other brain injuries that may be caused by a blow to the head this one is different. Diffuse axonal brain injury is caused by the movement of the brain within the skull. As a closed head injury, this can be much more dangerous than an open head injury because of the tearing of the brain tissue and the swelling that can occur.
These movements, which are normally a back and forth type of movement, disrupt the nerve cells which allow the neurons to send messages between them. Once those cells are disrupted and the links between them broken, the signally process can not occur and functions like movement, speech, and even those that support life can cease.
The road for recovery is long and uncertain for Jules Bianchi. For one thing is career in F1 is over and a bis question hangs over his head whether he can live a life independently.
Cause of the accident was probed by FIA. A committee was formed including prominent F1 icons like Ross Brawn etc., Committee pointed that not one but multiple factors lead to accident.
In my perspective, 4 points stand out in it. 1] Jules Bianchi did not sufficiently slow down under double yellow flags. 2] He applied both throttle and brakes while losing control 3] He tried to steer the car which lead to go off straight rather than swirl the way Sutil car went 4] The recover vehicle that is standing to rescue Sutil’s car.
If Jules Bianchi arrived late by few seconds,he would have escaped with lessor injury.
This topic is to focus on 2 things. The recovery vehicle in the track. Even though FIA and F1 had come out with statistics to prove that it is normal to have the recovery van under double yellow flag, I feel it is the single big mistake that took away a talented race driver. When Sutil could slide and hit the barrier, it is a probability that someone else may again hit the same spot. It happened. Instead of barrier you had a recovery truck standing to cause a grievous injury. F1 , Suzukha track authority and F1 are at fault. This was played down by the committee to avoid litigation. F1, FIA should be wise when addressing an issue that involves a driver with such career threatening injury.
Second, the configuration of the steering column & control, in the event of a driver applying both brakes and throttle. The car instead of stalling moved much faster. Even though how much speed increased during this time is not clearly estimated but there was an increase in speed. My opinion – Teams with low budget and running on shoe string budget creating organ donors in the form of race drivers. Unless F1 reduce cost makes profitable to run a team – it is going to be a death trap to drive these cars. Hope F1, FIA wake up