June 21, 2020 / 11:13 AM / 20 days ago

Motor racing: Zanardi remains in serious but stable condition after accident

FILE PHOTO: Italian BMW 320i racing car driver Alex Zanardi gives a thumbs up before the start of an LG Super Racing car event at the Monza race track October 19, 2003. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Former Formula One driver and twice Champ Car champion Alex Zanardi remained in serious but stable condition in intensive care on Sunday after suffering severe head injuries in a road accident while racing his handbike in Italy on Friday.

The 53-year-old Italian, who lost both legs and nearly his life in a 2001 Champ Car crash in Germany, was still under sedation, intubated and breathing with the help of a ventilator, according to a hospital statement.

The Santa Maria alle Le Scotte hospital in Siena said that Zanardi spent the night in “cardio-respiratory and metabolic stability” although the neurological situation remained serious.

“The current conditions of general stability still do not allow us to exclude the possibility of adverse events,” the statement added.

Zanardi is an inspirational figure in the worlds of motorsport and paralympic endeavour, a hugely popular and positive competitor who returned from life-changing injuries with a smile.

He had both legs amputated above the knee, with his heart stopping seven times as he lost all but a litre of the blood in his body, after the horrific crash at the Lausitzring in Germany on Sept. 15, 2001.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Christian Radnedge

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