Jules Bianchi dies after Japanese F1 Grand Prix crash

French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has died from his injuries sustained in his October 2014 crash at the Japanese Grand Prix. He was 25.

Marussia driver Bianchi suffered the most serious race injury since Ayrton Senna's death in 1994, crashing into a recovery tractor in wet and treacherous conditions at the Suzuka Circuit.

He had been in a coma for nine months, succumbing to his injuries on Saturday morning.

"Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end," Bianchi's family said in a statement.

"The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice's [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire] who looked after him with love and dedication.

"We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.

"Furthermore, 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's team, now known as Manor F1, described the driver's death as devastating.

"We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle," the team tweeted.

"It was a privilege to have him race for our team."

An International Automobile Federation (FIA) report said in December that Bianchi had not slowed sufficiently under warning flags before his crash.

The report found that Bianchi's car hit the tractor at 126kph and said medical services were not at fault in their handling of the aftermath.

Bianchi's father, Philippe, had told French radio earlier this month that he was "less optimistic" of a recovery. In May he said they had been preparing for the worst.

"It's hard to get up in the morning while telling yourself that you're not sure whether your son is going to live and every day is like that," he said.

Bianchi, who came from a motor racing family, was a regular travelling companion of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso and was popular with other drivers.

The Nice-born Bianchi, a graduate of Ferrari's young driver academy, scored the now defunct Marussia's first ever points when he finished ninth in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix and was tipped for a bright future.His accident in the Japanese Grand Prix occurred at the same point of the Suzuka Circuit's track, where Adrian Sutil had aquaplaned off into the tyre barrier moments earlier and was watching his car being removed.

It is thought the conditions played a part in Bianchi's accident, with heavy rain and wind wreaking havoc throughout the race.

The track had been under a local yellow flag instead of a full-course caution at the time of the accident, meaning cars only had to slow down in a specific area instead of forming a line behind the safety car.

The tractor that Bianchi crashed in to was between the track and the outside wall at the time of the accident.

The race was restarted behind a safety car twice before Bianchi's crash.