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

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“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.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”