Motorsport.com looked over all the huge and somber moments of the season, and our team deemed Jules Bianchi's accident, and his fight for recovery as the biggest story of 2014.
Sebastian Vettel announces he will leave Red Bull on the same weekend a massive typhoon slammed into a race track where a Formula One GP is scheduled to take place. So going into the race at Suzuka, we expected the unexpected, but no one could have foreseen this.
On the 40th lap, Adrian Sutil crashed in wet conditions. Local yellow flags were waving as a tractor and marshals were dispatched to remove the stricken Sauber. On the following lap, Jules Bianchi was three laps away from the checkered flag, but lost control, just as Sutil did. That's where the similarities came to a terrifying end.
Jules attempted to straighten the car, overcorrecting and heading towards the accident scene, nose-first. He missed the car and the corner workers, but he couldn't avoid the 20 ton tractor, striking the rear-end of the machine, Despite the incredible weight of it, the force of the impact completely lifted the tractor off the ground and knocked the Sauber car off the crane.
Upon impact, he left side air-intake was shaved completely off the Marussia and the entire rear of the car was decimated. There was also some major damage to the front portion as well. Miraculously, Bianchi survived, but at a cost. The left side of his helmet made contact with the tractor, knocking the young Frenchman out. He remains unconscious to this day.
Doctors say he suffered a subdural hematoma, which has very low recover. Dr. James Norman gave his take to Motorspor.com, saying "This type of injury often results in brain death because of the swelling and impingement of the brainstem resulting in a lack of blood flow to the brain."
In the best hands
He has since left Japan, but remains hospitalized in his home country of France. I once said that Jules would likely become a Formula One World Champion some day, now I just want him to wake up.
Besides this tragedy, he also made a mark in 2014 by showcasing his tremendous talent on the iconic streets of Monaco, finishing eighth (ninth after penalty) in the Marussia. We just received a new update on his condition today, which read, "Neurological status remains unchanged." We're still hoping for the best though. He's still here, that's all that matters.
Forza Jules, you can win this fight.