MX23RW : Thursday, February 25 18:33:08| >> :600:3785912:3785912:

Jules Bianchi dies, aged 25

Jules Bianchi has died following severe head injuries suffered at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

Jules Bianchi has died at the age of 25 following severe head injuries suffered at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

The Frenchman was rushed to hospital after crashing into a crane at Suzuka in October.

In a statement, his family confirmed that Bianchi has passed away after spending nine months in a coma.

"Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end. The pain we feel is immense and indescribable," the statement read.

"We thank Jules' colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.

"Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world."

Bianchi had been part of Ferrari's driver academy after impressing in a test for the Scuderia before driving for Force India in practice session during the 2012 season.

His talent led to him joining Marussia and he scored the team's first ever points in Formula 1, with a ninth-place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Bianchi is the first fatality in Formula 1 since the death of Ayrton Senna, who died after a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

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Jules Bianchi of France and Marussia walks across the paddock prior to the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 20, 2014
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