Jules Bianchi is no longer in an artificial coma and is now being treated in France, according to a statement issued by his family on Wednesday.
The Frenchman, who was critically injured in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in October, was transferred aeromedically from hospital in Yokkaichi to the university hospital in Nice on Tuesday night.
According to the statement, whilst he remains unconscious and in a critical condition, he is now breathing unaided.
Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious, read the statement.
He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as critical. His treatment now enters a new phase concerned with the improvement of his brain function.
Jules neurological condition remains stable. Although the situation continues to be serious, and may remain so, it was decided that Jules was sufficiently stable to be repatriated to his native France. We are relieved, therefore, to confirm that Jules was transferred aeromedically last night from the Mie Prefectural General Medical Center in Yokkaichi, Japan, to Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU), where he arrived just a short time ago. Jules is now in the intensive care unit of Professors Raucoules and Ichai, where his care will also be monitored by Professor Paquis, Head of Neurosurgery Service.
Bianchis family said they were grateful that his treatment would continue in France, but said they had nothing but praise for the care he received in Japan.
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, added the statement.
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. In particular, we would like to extend our thanks to Doctors Kamei and Yamamichi, and also to Mr Ogura, all part of the team of personnel caring for Jules in Japan.