Bernie Ecclestone seeks inquiry into Jules Bianchi crash

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In an interview with The Times (London), Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has called for an inquiry into Saturday’s horrific crash involving Marussia’s Jules Bianchi at the Japanese Grand Prix.

“It’s difficult for me to say what happened and it will be for an inquiry to find out exactly what did go on,” said Ecclestone, who was not at Suzuka Circuit this weekend.

“We have done so much for safety. These days, you see an accident on the track and the driver undoes his safety belt, flips off his steering wheel and jumps out unharmed.

“I have always said that if I was going to have an accident, it would be in a Formula One car because they are the safest in the world. But things happen and we have to find out the cause. 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.”

The Times also says that FIA president Jean Todt asked race director Charlie Whiting for a full internal report on the incident, which at least partly led to Saturday’s race being cut short of the 53-lap distance (other factors included worsening weather conditions and approaching darkness).

The FIA has issued a statement saying that such a report will “aim to be as complete and detailed as possible in order to understand exactly the accident that occurred.”

Earlier this morning, Marussia confirmed that Bianchi was in “critical but stable” condition at the Mie General Hospital with a diffuse axonal injury. Yesterday, an FIA spokesman had said he was “serious but stable.”