Paralympic champion and former racing driver Alex Zanardi has left hospital following injuries sustained in a handbike accident 18 months ago.
Former F1 driver and Champ Car champion Zanardi suffered a severe head injury in a collision with a truck during the Obiettivo Tricolore handbike race in June 2020. Since then he has undergone multiple operations and received care at a specialist facility in Padua, Italy.
On Monday, his wife confirmed he has been released from hospital.
“An important step was that Alex was able to leave hospital a few weeks ago and is back at home with us now,” she said in a statement. “We had to wait very long for this and are very happy that it was possible now, even if there are still temporary stays in special clinics planned for the future to carry out special rehabilitation measures on site.
“The recovery continues to be a long process. The rehabilitation programme led by doctors, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists and speech therapists has enabled steady progress. Of course, setbacks are there and can still occur. Sometimes you also have to make two steps back in order to make one step forward. But Alex proves again and again that he is a real fighter.”
Zanardi drove for Lotus, Minardi and Williams either side of stints in Champ Car, where he won the title in 1997 and 1998. The Italian driver lost both legs in a horrific crash in 2001, but he returned to racing in World Touring Car Championship in 2005 in a modified car.
He also turned his attention to handcycling and has won four Paralympic golds – two at London 2012 and another two at Rio 2016 — as well as two silver medals.