Ex-F1 driver Alex Zanardi suffers serious head injury in handbike crash
Alex Zanardi was in a "very severe" condition with a head injury after surgery after a traffic accident in Italy.
The former Formula 1 driver, who suffered a terrible motor sport accident in 2001 in which both legs were amputated above the knee, is said to have collided with a large vehicle while driving his hand bike on Friday.
Zanardi celebrated a heart-warming sporting comeback as a Paralympian and won gold medals for Italy in London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Motorsport and the Paralympic worlds hoped that he would recover from the recent trauma. Damon Hill and Mario Andretti expressed concern about the 53-year-old.
The Senese University Hospital in Siena issued a statement that Zanardi was treated in his Santa Maria polyclinic after he was flown from the scene of the accident.
His injury was said to be "serious," and a later statement said: "Regarding the clinical condition of Alex Zanardi, who was hospitalized in a very serious condition at the Santa Maria alle Scotte polyclinic due to a traffic accident in the province of Siena The Aou Senese health office reports that the neurosurgical and maxillofacial intervention to which the athlete was exposed due to a serious head injury began shortly after 7:00 p.m. and ended shortly before 10:00 p.m.
"The patient was then transferred to the intensive care unit with a reluctant prognosis. His state of health is very serious."
Since his fall in 2001, Zanardi has not only been using the handwheel, but has also participated in the World Touring Car Championship.
In Formula 1 he drove for the Jordan, Lotus, Minardi and Williams teams in the 1990s.
Former Formula 1 world champion Hill, a contemporary of Zanardi, wrote on Twitter: "Shocked and praying, he's fine. For him and his family and friends, as well as millions of fans and supporters, we pray for you, Alex."
Andretti, who won the F1 World Championship in 1978 and was also very successful in IndyCar, wrote: "I am so worried and scared about Alex Zanardi that I hold my breath. I am his fan. I am his friend. Please do something I do and pray, pray for this wonderful man. "
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