Jules Bianchi continues to “fight with force” as his father Philippe gives new interview


“Our universe collapsed on October 5, 2014.”

It was on that date Jules Bianchi went off track in treacherous conditions at the Japanese Grand Prix, crashed into a recovery vehicle and sustained severe head injuries that left him requiring emergency surgery. The Marussia driver was fighting for his life.

Over six months later, Bianchi remains in a coma, but has since returned to his native France where he continues to be cared for and monitored.

The last official update from the Bianchi family came in December, but his father, Philippe, has recently given an interview to nice-matin.com that gives further information on Jules’ condition and recovery.

“The only thing we can assure is that he fights with force, as he has always fought before and after the accident,” Philippe Bianchi explained. “Every day, Jules is running a marathon.

“From a medical point of view, his condition is stable. It is fairly autonomous. No physical problems. All of his organs are working without assistance.

“But for now, he remains unconscious in a coma.”

Philippe revealed that Jules has already made far more progress than was initially predicted by the medical staff that operated on him in Japan, who did not think he would leave the hospital for a year.

“For this kind of trauma, as we know, progress is very slow,” Philippe said. “Compared to what the Japanese professor who was immediately operated in Yokkaichi said, it is already the day and night.

“There, when we arrived with Jules’ mother, there was no hope. The prognosis was alarming. There was talk of irreversible damage and a one year period at least before the transfer – it was finally done after seven weeks, as he quickly could breathe again on his own.”

In order to try and stimulate Bianchi and offer support, his family remains by his side every day, talking to him and be with him.

“[It’s important] to stimulate Jules, and that he feels a constant presence at his side,” Philippe said. “That’s why we take turns every day: his mother, his sister, his brother and me; also Gina, the German girlfriend Jules, who lives here now.

“From time to time, at his bedside, we see that things are happening. At times, he is more ‘active’, he moves more, his hand shakes ours… But are they merely reflex reactions or real? Hard to know.”

Philippe was quick to thank the Formula 1 community and fanbase for its support over the past six months, and promised to offer updates on Jules’ condition whenever possible.

“Those people who think of him and praying for him, it is a fabulous motivator,” Philippe said. “I’m sure Jules hears!

“Today I want to again thank them all. And tell them that we will give news, whether it be good or bad.”

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing

Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.