Former Formula 1 driver and Paralympic athlete Alex Zanardi has been admitted to hospital in serious condition after a road traffic accident.
Former Formula 1 racer and CART Champion Alex Zanardi is in hospital tonight after being involved in a serious road traffic accident.
Zanardi has been transported via air ambulance to the Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena, Italy. He was involved in an accident near Pienza during a national Paralympic race. He is reported as suffering severe head trauma.
A statement from the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese in Siena, Italy, said:
“Alex Zanardi, car driver, paracyclist and TV presenter, was hospitalized in very serious conditions at the polyclinic Santa Maria alle Scotte. He was involved in a road accident in the province of Siena.”
Zanardi was transported with the Pegaso helicopter and landed at the hospital in Siena at 6.00 pm.”
He has already been through a ‘delicate neurosurgery’ with a further update from the hospital saying: “The health management informs that the neurosurgical and maxillofacial intervention to which he was subjected due to the serious head injury reported, the athlete started shortly after 7 pm and ended at 9.30 pm. The patient was transferred to intensive care, with a reserved prognosis. His health condition remains very serious.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has tweeted his support of Zanardi, saying: “You never gave up and with your extraordinary strength of mind you have overcome a thousand difficulties. Come on Alex #Zanardi , do not give up. All of Italy struggle with you.”
Zanardi has become an inspirational role model due to his sheer force of will and perseverance in the face of adversity. A lacklustre F1 career in the early 90s paved the way for the Italian to become one of the dominant forces in American CART racing in the late 90s, before he returned to F1 with Williams in 1999. Again, Formula 1 didn’t treat him well, and he returned to CART. He was involved in a traumatic accident at the Lausitzring in 2001, a crash that resulted in him losing both his legs. Zanardi then turned to Paralympic athletics and has designed his own prosthetics. He has also returned to the racetrack with appearances in adapted Touring Cars and took part in last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona with BMW.
According to La Repubblica, Zanardi was conscious immediately following the accident and was speaking. The same article claims Zanardi strayed into the opposite lane of the road and ran headlong into an approaching truck.