Over a year after being seriously injured in a paracycling crash, 55-year-old racing driver and Paralympian Alex Zanardi has left the hospital to continue his recovery process at home in his native Italy.
The news was first reported by Motorsport on Monday, and confirmed by Zanardi's wife Daniella in a statement published by BMW on Tuesday.
She said her husband was able to leave hospital a few weeks ago and is continuing with different exercise programs as part of his recovery process, and that he has already regained some strength in his arms, but noted that it's too early to tell what trajectory his recovery will take.
Alex Zanardi at the Lausitzring
"You still can't predict how his recovery will further develop," she said. "It is still a long and challenging way that Alex tackles with a lot of fighting spirit."
Zanardi raced in Formula One, as well as CART, where he became a two-time champion. His legs were amputated after a 2001 crash at Germany's Lausitzring. He later returned to car racing and became a competitive handbike racer, winning multiple medals in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Paralympic Games.
Zanardi is also a brand ambassador for BMW, racing with the manufacturer in Germany's DTM touring car series and in sports cars. More recently, he drove an M8 GTE in the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona alongside Jesse Krohn, John Edwards, and Chaz Mostert. Hampered by mechanical issues, the quartet finished 24th overall and ninth in class.