Jules crash dampens Hamilton’s victory

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Formula One departed Suzuka and bound for Sochi with the thoughts of everyone involved in the sport firmly left behind with Jules Bianchi - as the Marussia driver fought for his life in a Japanese hospital.

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate and pole sitter Nico Rosberg to victory in a race affected by rain but his now 10-point championship lead was sub-text following a Japanese Grand Prix which was ended prematurely after a freak accident left Bianchi requiring surgery on a severe head injury.

The 25-year-old Frenchman crashed into a recovery vehicle after aquaplaning off the wet track at the same corner as Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, who had left the circuit on the previous lap.

Sutil’s car was still being removed from the area when Bianchi reached the scene of the accident and he hit the recovery vehicle, with the race being red-flagged shortly afterwards on lap 46.

The running of the race had been under threat all week as Typhoon Phanfone approached Japan from the Pacific Ocean.

“Our first thoughts go to Jules,” Hamilton said.

“It overshadows everything else when one of our colleagues is injured and we are praying for him. Next to this, the race result doesn’t seem significant at all.”