Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has been brought out of an artificial coma and arrived back in France on Wednesday nearly seven weeks after his near-fatal crash at the Japanese Grand Prix. The 25-year-old Frenchman’s family said in a statement that the Marussia driver was still listed as “critical” and that he could remain in a serious way for a long time. They said they were delighted that he has stabilised enough to be flown to a hospital in Nice, near the family home. “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’.” Bianchi, who crashed into a recovery vehicle on the rain-drenched Suzuka track on October 5, was flown back to France on Wednesday. “Jules’ neurological condition remains stable,” the statement reported. “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.” Bianchi, who had been at hospital at Yokkaichi near Suzuka, is now at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire’s intensive care unit in Nice. “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,” said the statement. The stricken French driver’s family concluded by expressing gratitutide for the care Bianchi had received in Japan. His return home to France was welcomed by his fellow pitlane drivers. Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious Bianchi family statement “good news about Jules Bianchi. gives me a good feeling that he his back in his home country. Tous avec Jules #17” wrote Nico Rosberg on Twitter. “Great you hear some positive news about Jules. #ForzaJules” wrote former world champion Jenson Button. Bianchi was left fighting for his life in a freak crash when his Marussia ploughed at high speed into a recovery vehicle removing the stricken Sauber of Adrian Sutil. The crash led to a major safety review. Marussia scored their first points at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix when Bianchi finished ninth but have gone bust since the accident, making 200 staff redundant.