Motor racing: Bianchi crash was 'bad luck', says Suzuka official

The crash that left French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi in a critical condition with severe head injures was down to bad luck rather than poor judgement by Japanese Grand Prix race officials, a track spokesman said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The crash that left French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi in a critical condition with severe head injures was down to bad luck rather than poor judgement by Japanese Grand Prix race officials, a track spokesman said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SUZUKA , JAPAN (REUTERS) - The crash that left French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi in a critical condition with severe head injures was down to bad luck rather than poor judgement by Japanese Grand Prix race officials, a track spokesman said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Marussia F1 driver suffered the life-threatening injury on Sunday when he aquaplaned off a wet track and slammed into the back of a recovery tractor that had been deployed to remove Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

"Officials raised 'double yellow flags' after the accident by Sutil, which means drivers had to slow down to the speed that they can immediately stop, but unfortunately Bianchi's car aquaplaned right at the time and ran into the accident site, which was bad luck," Suzuka Circuit spokesman Masamichi Miyazaki said.

"Admittedly, rain was coming and the road was wet, but not heavy enough to halt the race, and I believe the race officials made the same judgement."

The sport's governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said that president Jean Todt has asked FIA race director Charlie Whiting to carry out a detailed report into the precise circumstances of the accident.

The crash brought a premature end to Sunday's race, with winner Lewis Hamilton and the rest of the paddock turning their attention to the likeable Frenchman, a graduate of Ferrari's young driver academy.

Bianchi's accident was the most serious involving a driver at a grand prix weekend since Brazilian Felipe Massa suffered near-fatal head injuries in Hungary in 2009 after being hit on the helmet by a bouncing spring shed from a car in front.

Massa made a full recovery and was racing for Williams on Sunday.