Alex Zanardi has left hospital for the first time since he was involved in a serious accident while training on his handbike and transferred to a ‘specialised recovery and functionality rehabilitation centre’.

The ex-Lotus and Williams F1 driver was training in his native Italy when he was involved in a collision with a truck near Siena on June 19, suffering a serious head injury that necessitated he be kept in an induced coma for a period of time.

However, his condition has improved to the extent that doctors at the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital have decreased his sedation, adding ‘the normality of the cardio-respiratory and metabolic parameters, the stability of the general clinical conditions and the neurological picture’ allowed him to be transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

“Our professionals remain at the disposal of this extraordinary person and his family for the further stages of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic development, as always happens in these cases,” said hospital general manager Valtere Giovannini

"I sincerely thank the multidisciplinary team that took care of Zanardi putting in place a great professionalism, recognised nationally and beyond.

"The athlete spent over a month in our hospital: he underwent three delicate surgeries and showed a path of stability of his clinical conditions and vital parameters that allowed the reduction and suspension of sedation, and the consequent possibility to be transferred to a facility for the necessary neuro-rehabilitation."

No information has been released regarding his overall condition or the timeframe expected for his recovery.

As well as his achievements in F1, Zanardi won two CART series championships prior to a serious accident that resulted in his legs being amputated. Despite this, Zanardi not only returned to motorsport with success in sportscars and touring cars, he re-established himself as a world-class athlete, winning four paracycling Olympic gold medals.