ules Bianchi has been transferred to a French hospital and is no longer in an induced coma, the injured French Formula 1 driver's family said in a statement on Wednesday.
Seven weeks after Bianchi suffered serious head injuries in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix, his family has revealed that there are encouraging signs of progress.
Although he remains unconscious and is still in a "critical" condition, he is now breathing unaided and doctors agreed he was able to be moved from hospital in Yokkaichi to Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice.
The statement said: "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'. 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."
Bianchi's family said they were thankful that, after nearly two months in Japan, the next phase of his recovery would be taking place closer to home.
"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."