Oct.10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Marussia on Friday withdrew injured Jules Bianchi’s car from the Russian grand prix.

Just five days ago, the 25-year-old was seriously injured in a crash at Suzuka. Still in Japan, the Frenchman is now lying in a coma in a “critical but stable” condition.

On Thursday, Marussia officially entered a two-car team for the Russian grand prix, with reserve Alexander Rossi listed alongside regular Max Chilton.

Mechanics built up a car for Rossi, but just half an hour before Friday practice at the all-new Sochi Autodrom, it was bearing Bianchi’s familiar number 17.

Marussia said in a statement it withdrew Bianchi’s car from the Russian grand prix “out of respect” for its stricken race driver.

Earlier, it had emerged that although teams are obliged to enter two cars at each race, Bernie Ecclestone had left the choice of how to tackle Russia up to Marussia in light of the circumstances.

“The team feels strongly that fielding a single car, that of driver number 4, Max Chilton, is the appropriate course of action under the difficult circumstances of the weekend,” said Marussia.