The 53-12 months-outdated Zanardi, who had the two his legs amputated immediately after a motor racing incident virtually 20 decades ago, dropped control of his handbike machine even though competing in the ‘Obiettivo tricolore’ relay race in Tuscany, Italy on Friday.
According to a number of reports, he crossed the white line into the route of an oncoming observe, which was not able to keep away from him.
Subsequent the accident, the Italian was airlifted to the Santa Maria alle Scott medical center in Siena the place he underwent three hrs of unexpected emergency neurological operation for facial head injuries.
A assertion launched by the clinic stated Zanardi is in a “steady” condition in intense care next his procedure.
“He is incubated and supported by synthetic air flow while the neurological photo continues to be significant,” study the health-related bulletin.
Zanardi’s plight was captured in the headlines of all the main Italian sports papers as news unfold of the seriousness of his incident.
“No Alex, no!” said Corrierre dello Sport, while Italian prime minister Giusseppe Conte wrote on Twitter: “Appear on Alex # Zanardi, never give up. All of Italy is combating with you.”
Zanardi raced for Jordan, Minardi and Lotus in F1 in advance of a successful switch to CART racing in the US the place he was sequence champion in 1997 and 1998.
He returned to F1 with Williams for a single time in 1999 prior to returning to the CART collection.
It was in that method that he suffered his notorious 320kmh crash at Lausitzring in Germany in September 2001, escaping with his daily life, but getting rid of each his legs.
In an unbelievable display of perseverance and spirit, Zanardi tailored to his prosthetic legs and returned to contend in the European Touring Car Championship in 2003, driving for BMW.
But it was for his exploits on a handbike that the person from Bologna has develop into most effective acknowledged to a throughout the world viewers, winning many medals at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics and entire world championships.
He was in schooling for this year’s Tokyo Paralympics, hoping to add to his extraordinary tally of gold medals, until eventually it was postponed.
Zanardi has also competed in grueling Ironman triathlon races, environment a new earth best for a Paralympic athlete at a race in Italy very last September as perfectly as continuing to race specifically-adapted BMWs in a variety of endurance motorsport functions.
Messages of help have come flooding in throughout the sporting planet, with former F1 entire world champion and Indy Vehicle legend Mario Andretti writing: “I am so anxious and frightened about Alex Zanardi that I am holding my breath. I am his enthusiast. I am his pal.
“Make sure you do what I’m accomplishing and pray, pray for for this great gentleman,” he tweeted.
“Alex is 1 of life’s truly inspirational people today and as we all know, a fighter via and via. Remain powerful and Forza Alex,” his former Williams group posted on Twitter.
“Fight as you know how to do it, Alex. You are a really terrific gentleman, braveness,” Ferrari star Charles Leclerc tweeted in Italian.