French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi remained in a critical condition after suffering severe head injuries in a Japanese Grand Prix crash on Sunday, with the sport praying for him to pull through.

The 25-year-old's Marussia team issued a statement on Monday giving no medical details but acknowledging a "huge outpouring of support and affection for Jules and the Team at this very difficult time".

French media said Bianchi remained critical and was under artificial respiration, contrary to reports on Sunday evening that suggested he was breathing unassisted after surgery.

Sky Sports television reported from the Mie General hospital in Yokkaichi, near Suzuka, that his family were expected to arrive from France shortly.

Bianchi suffered the injury when he aquaplaned off a wet track and hit the back of a recovery tractor that had been deployed to remove Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

The race was then stopped, with his fellow drivers and teams in a state of shock.

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said the driver had been extracted unconscious from the car and taken to hospital where a scan revealed a severe head injury. He underwent immediate surgery.

Source: Reuters