The former IndyCar, F1 driver and multiple gold medal-winning Paralympian is continuing his rehabilitation and treatment for the head and facial injuries he sustained after colliding with a truck during the Obiettivo Tricolore handbike race last June.

Zanardi underwent several surgical procedures for his head injuries and has been continuing his recovery at a facility closer to his home in Italy.

Speaking in an interview conducted with BMW Motorsport, Daniela Zanardi offered a rare update on the racing icon’s rehabilitation.

“He is currently in a special clinic, where he is undergoing a rehabilitation programme,” she said. “This includes multimodal and pharmacological stimulations under the guidance of doctors, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists and speech therapists to try to facilitate his recovery.

“It has been a very complex process that has required more neurosurgery and been characterised by a number of setbacks. Alex is in a stable condition, which means he is able to undergo training programmes for both his brain and his body. He can communicate with us, but he is still unable to speak.

“After a long time in a coma, the vocal cords must regain their elasticity. This is only possible through practice and therapy. He still has a lot of strength in his arms and hands, and is training intensively on the equipment.”

Asked about expectations for the future, she replied: “It is certainly another huge challenge. It is a very long journey and at the moment no predictions are made on when he will be able to return home.”

Zanardi also thanked well-wishers for their overwhelming messages of support over the past 12 months.

“We have received so many best wishes for his recovery, and I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you, on behalf of Alex, for every single message,” she added.

“Following consultations with the doctors, now appears to be an appropriate time to offer this small insight into Alex’s recovery process with this interview. I would like to tell all those people who are thinking of and praying for Alex that he is fighting – as he always has done.

“The affection we have received from friends, fans, acquaintances, athletes and those involved in motorsport over the past year has been nothing short of touching and overwhelming and has been of enormous support for us in dealing with all this. However, a very special thank you goes to the medical personnel.”