The safety standards enforced in Formula One over the past two decades have made the open wheel racing series safer, but accidents still happen frequently. To the credit of the FIA it has been 20 years since the death of Ayrton Senna that a driver has lost his life in a race, but that nearly changed last Sunday at Suzuka. Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi was seriously injured after crashing into a tractor that was removing another car that had smashed into a barrier.

The crash occurred during lap 44, only minutes after Sauber driver Adrian Sutil went off the track in the Dunlop curve. Bianchi lost control of his car on a very wet Suzuka circuit and collided with the tractor that was towing Sutil’s car away. The race was stopped only two laps later. An ambulance was sent out to the scene and Bianchi was taken to the hospital. He was unconscious after his car almost went under the digger.

Bianchi suffered severe head injury and was rushed to the hospital for immediate surgery. As of this writing, the driver is "in a critical but stable" condition, according to FIA spokesman Matteo Bonciani.

The video above shows just how violent the impact was. The tractor was literally lifted off the ground as the car smashed in its rear end. It’s amazing Bianchi wasn’t killed on impact and we are all very glad he survived. We all wish him the best, and we can’t wait to write about his full recovery. This is arguably one of the worst crash Formula One has seen in a long time and the first to involve heavy machinery. No safety measure could have prevented that from happening, but we feel that Bianchi’s mere survival is a testament to the many safety features implemented over the last two decades.

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