Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi’s health has significantly improved since the Paralympic champion, who was seriously hurt in a road accident in June, returned to intensive care, doctors said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the San Raffaele hospital in Milan taking care of Zanardi said that the 53-year-old had shown “significant clinical improvements” since being re-hospitalised last month and is now being treated in semi-intensive care.
Zanardi had left a Siena hospital in July to continue his recovery at a rehabilitation centre after undergoing three surgeries, but had to be transferred to the intensive care unit just a few days later due to the “instability” of his health.
The Italian star suffered serious head injuries when he lost control of his handbike during a road race in Tuscany and crashed into an oncoming truck on June 19.
Zanardi had both his legs amputated after a motor racing accident in 2001 at the Lausitzring track in Germany, and has since become one of the best-known figures in Paralympic sports.
Zanardi raced for Jordan, Minardi and Lotus in F1 in the early 1990s before switching to the CART championship in the United States where he was series champion in 1997 and 1998.
He returned to F1 with Williams in 1999 before heading back to CART.
Zanardi won two gold medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and four years later won two more in Rio de Janeiro.
He also won the Rome marathon in 2010 and the New York race the following year.