F1 driver Jules Bianchi dies nine months after crash at Japanese Grand Prix
Jules Bianchi has passed away nine months after suffering severe head injuries in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old had been in a coma for nine months, ever since he crashed in wet conditions at Suzuka while racing for the Marussia team.
But on Saturday morning the Frenchman sadly lost his battle, passing away in hospital in his home town of Nice.
His family released a statement thanking his fans and friends.
"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 thank Jules's 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."
His Marussia team - now known as Manor F1 - said it was a privilege to have Bianchi as part of their team.
They will issue a more detailed statement in due course.
We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle. It was a privilege to have him race for our team. https://t.co/USrDQbG7fZ
— Manor Racing (@ManorRacing) July 18, 2015