Zanardi’s condition worsens, back in intensive care

Jamie Woodhouse
Alex Zanardi PA

Alex Zanardi moved to local hospital as condition improves.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi has been placed back in intensive care after his condition worsened when he was moved to a rehabilitation center.

The 53-year-old Italian was placed in a medically induced coma and has had three operations at Siena’s Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital since his devastating accident during a road race near the Italian city on June 19.

His sedation was suspended to allow him to be transferred to the specialist clinic, but sadly the Italian has returned to intensive care after a sudden worsening of his condition.

In a statement, Claudio Zanado, the health director of the Valduce Hospital in Como, said: “Today, in the face of the instability of the clinical conditions of patient Alex Zanardi, and after appropriate consultations with Dr. Franco Molteni, head of the Department of Specialist Rehabilitation Villa Beretta where the patient had been hospitalized since July 21, and the reference specialists, the transfer of the athlete was ordered.

“Adequate means and adequate assistance were used at the Intensive Care Department of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.

“As of now, it is specified that no further information on the case will be released.”

Zanardi, whose best F1 result was sixth position for Lotus in the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix, enjoyed most success as a driver in the CART series in North America, becoming champion in 1997 and 1998.

After returning to F1 for a single, unproductive season with Williams in 1999, his motor racing career was ended two years later by a horrific crash at the Lausitzring in a CART championship race which caused both of his legs to be amputated.

Since then, Zanardi has enjoyed considerable success as a para-cyclist, winning four Paralympic gold medals and 12 World Championship titles.

At F1’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, both of the Ferrari cars driven by Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel raced with messages of support for Zanardi with the #ForzaAlex hashtag being placed on the roll hoop.

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