De Cesaris, who competed in the 1980s and 1990s, crashed his vehicle into a concrete barrier here on Sunday, dying on impact, according to reports in Italy.

De Cesaris, 55, raced for a host of teams including McLaren and took part in 208 F1 races but never won a Grand Prix.

"All at McLaren send condolences to ex-McLaren #F1 driver Andrea De Cesaris, who sadly passed away," his former team McLaren tweeted on Sunday.

Marussia driver Bianchi is fighting for his life in hospital after surgery on a severe head injury sustained when he crashed into a vehicle recovering Adrian Sutil's Sauber at Suzuka also Sunday.

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