Bianchi is out of his artificial coma and is breathing unaided, but remains unconscious.
Formula One driver Jules Bianchi is no longer in an artificial coma and is breathing unaided, his parents have said in a statement.
The 25-year-old suffered severe head injuries after crashing in wet conditions during the Japanese Grand Prix on October 5.
“Almost seven weeks after Jules’ accident at Suzuka Circuit, and following a challenging period of neurological intensive care, we are able to announce that Jules has made an important step,” the statement read.
“Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious. He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as ‘critical’.”
The family said the driver’s recovery had entered a new phase involving “the improvement of his brain function” and that is condition had improved enough for him to be transferred back to France, where he arrived on Wednesday.
“We are thankful that the next phase of Jules’ treatment can continue close to home, where he can be surrounded and supported by his wider family and friends,” the statement added.
“We have nothing but praise for the outstanding care provided by the Mie Prefectural General Medical Center since the accident. We owe the medical staff there an enormous debt of gratitude for everything they have done for Jules, and also for our family, during what is a very difficult time for us.”