Former Formula One driver, Alex Zanardi is back in intensive care, three days after being moved to a specialist recovery centre to treat serious head injuries.

The former Paralympic champion underwent three operations at Siena’s Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital after being placed in an induced coma following the June 19 accident while taking part in a handbike road race.

He was moved last Tuesday to the Villa Beretta centre in northern Italy, but they issued a statement on Friday saying his condition was unstable and they were arranging a transfer to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital.

A double US CART racing champion in the United States, the 53-year-old Zanardi had to have both of his legs amputated above the knee following a horrific crash in a race in Germany in September 2001.

He recovered to return to the track in touring cars before later taking up paracycling and winning four Paralympic gold medals.