Jules Bianchi’s father Philippe has spoken on the eve of the anniversary of his son’s storming drive to ninth place in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.
Although there is no change in Bianchi’s condition in hospital in his home town of Nice, his family continue to cling to the hope of his continued fight to emerge from his coma.
“The first thing, is that Jules is alive, and I think that's the most important for us,” Bianchi Sr told Canal+. “He's fighting, for sure, with the tools he has, his physical strength mostly, I'm not sure he has the power to do a lot of things on the neurological level, but it's clear that to see him fighting gives us a lot of courage.
“It's important for us, and as long as there is living, there is hope, even though we have to wait for a miracle after such a violent hit.
"Each day is difficult, but with each day passing by, we say to ourselves that he's still alive, and it gives us the motivation to keep our heads out of the water.
“Today we are in a situation where it stagnates, because Jules' neurological evolutions aren't what we would like them to be.
"Each night, we sleep with the telephone by our side, and when we get up in the morning, we think about Jules' life, but also about death, because we have to in a situation where we know a lot of things can happen to him, it's terrible.
“I think we all stopped living that day, October 5th, because it's something you can't prepare yourself for, and I would say life stopped there and at some point.
"There needs to be an issue for Jules, because I think being in a hospital bed is not what he wants. It's not his life, it's not what we want for him either. Now we have to keep hoping, and see what happens.”
Family joy after Monaco 2014
On the subject of his son’s epic charge to eighth on the road in last year’s race at Monaco, which became ninth after a penalty, Bianchi recalls a time of great joy.
“I think it's the culmination for Jules, it was his dream to score points in Formula 1 and he managed to do that with a Marussia,” he said. “I was there, I was lucky enough to be the first one he took in his arms at the end of the race, these are extraordinary moments.
“In my head, I keep the image of him exiting the car, when he came to take myself in his arms and tell me he was happy. He was really very happy.”
Continued support helps
Bianchi Sr again thanked the support and many messages the family has received.
“Jules is here – despite the shock he took, he's still here, he's fighting,” he added. “All the people who think about him give him power, and I think he feels all of that.
“It's beautiful, we are thankful for all the messages, because Jules wasn't Michael Schumacher, but seeing all this support, it's great.
“At least for Jules it's important and we tell him that when we go visit him, we tell him that he has a lot of support, that everyone loves him and he is recognized as a great driver and a good guy.”