Ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi remains in a stable condition in hospital, with doctors set to evaluate treatment options in the coming days.

Zanardi, 53, sustained severe head injuries in an accident during a hand bike race in Italy on Friday after colliding with a vehicle on the road.

After being airlifted to Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena, the former F1 driver-turned-Paralympian underwent a three-hour operation to have a ‘delicate neurosurgery operation’ to relieve a ‘severe cranial trauma’.

Following the surgery, Zanardi was transferred to intensive care and has been placed in a medically-induced coma.

The latest medical bulletin released by the hospital confirmed Zanardi remains stable after his third night of ICU stay with the prognosis “confidential”.

“The clinical conditions of Alex Zanardi remain stable, hospitalized at the polyclinic Santa Maria alle Scotte from 19 June,” a statement from the Santa Maria all Scotte hospital read. 

“The third night of ICU stay passed without variations. The clinical conditions therefore remain unchanged in the cardio-respiratory and metabolic parameters while the neurological picture remains serious. 

“The patient is sedated, intubated and mechanically ventilated and the prognosis is confidential. 

“The multidisciplinary team that takes care of him will evaluate in the next few days any diagnostic-therapeutic actions to be taken.”

This latest episode is the newest challenge for Zanardi in a career that has become a shining example of triumphing against adversity. Though three seasons of F1 racing with Lotus (1993, 1994) and Williams in 1999 only brought him fleeting success at international level, he did go on to clinch two CART open-wheel titles.

However, a freak high-speed accident during a 2001 CART race at the Lausitzring would see Zanardi suffer horrific injuries. Though they saved his life, his legs had to be amputated.

Despite this, Zanardi went on to rebuild his racing career with a successful stint in touring cars and sportscars using hand controls, before turning his attention to the Paralympics, where he has since become a four-time gold medal winner.