SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi is in critical condition after crashing at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Bianchi was unconscious when he was taken to a nearby hospital following a crash during Sunday's rain-shortened race and is undergoing emergency surgery after a scan revealed a severe head injury.
According to FIA officials, the 25-year-old Bianchi will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored after the surgery.
The race was red-flagged with nine laps to go after Bianchi went off at Turn 7, where Sauber's Adrian Sutil had crashed earlier.
The Sauber was being recovered by a crane when Bianchi went off.
Sutil indicated the Frenchman's car had hit the crane.
"I aquaplaned," Sutil said. "The rain got more and more. One lap later with waved yellow flags, Jules came around and had the same spin there and that was it. It was the same crash but the outcome was different. The car came out to rescue my car and it all happened."
Sunday's race started at 3 p.m. local time. An approaching typhoon led to suggestions that the race would be pushed up to an earlier start.
At the time of the crash, rain was falling steadily and it was getting dark. Several drivers complained of not being able to see properly.
The first nine laps were run behind a safety car and it started to rain heavily again near the end of the race.
FIA issued a statement on the crash.
"On lap 42, Adrian Sutil lost control of his car, spun and hit the tire barrier on the outside of Turn 7. The marshals displayed double waved yellow flags before the corner to warn the drivers of the incident. A recovery vehicle was dispatched in order to lift the car and take it to a place of safety behind the guardrail. While this was being done, the driver of car 17, Jules Bianchi, lost control of his car, travelled across the run-off area and hit the back of the tractor."
The FIA went on to say once the marshals reported that the driver was injured, medical teams were dispatched and the safety car was deployed. These were followed by an extrication team and ambulance.
Bianchi was then removed from the car, taken to the circuit medical center before being transferred by ambulance to a nearby hospital.