Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, who was seriously injured following a crash at the Japanese GP this October,has been taken out of an artificial coma and repatriated from Japan to a French hospital, according to a statement released by his parents.

The 25-year-old Marussia driver has been in criticial condition since he lost control of his Marussia car and hit a mobile crane that was inside the trackside barriersthe crash on October 5.

Bianchi remains in critical condition and although he remains unconscious "he is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable".

"Almost seven weeks after Jules' accident at Suzuka Circuit, and following a challenging period of neurological intensive care, we are able to announce Jules has made an important step," his parents Philippe and Christine said in the statement.

"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'."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies