Michael Schumacher enjoys watching Formula 1 races on TV and he is ‘fighting’ to regain his health, his former boss at Ferrari said.
Jean Todt provided F1 fans with a rare update during an interview with Radio Monte-Carlo.
Todt, one of Schumacher’s closest confidantes, said the F1 star was making ‘good progress’ and the pair watch races together on TV.
He added: ‘I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland.
‘Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house.
Michael Schumacher (pictured with Jean Todt in 2006) enjoys watching F1 races on TV and he is making progress in his recovery and his former boss at Ferrari said
Schumacher fell into a coma following the accident in the French Alps in 2013 and has not been seen in public since. He is recovering at his home in Switzerland, tended by his wife Corinna (pictured together in 2005)
‘He does not give up and keeps fighting.’
Todt added that his friend’s difficulty with communicating has saddened him.
‘His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship can not be the same as it once was.
‘Just because there’s no longer the same communication as before.
‘He continues to fight. And his family is fighting the same way.’
Todt is the head of motorsport’s governing body FIA and makes regular visits Schumacher in Switzerland.
Schumacher jumps on the podium after winning the French Grand Prix at the Magny-Cours circuit July 16, 2006. The retired German is the only driver in history to win seven F1 titles
Michael suffered severe head injuries in the accident and had to be placed in a coma, with doctors saying he was lucky to survive. He has not been seen in public since. Pictured here in October 2012. Despite his ill-health for the last five years, he remains the most successful Formula 1 driver in history
Todt, pictured with Schumacher’s wife Corina in 2006, added ‘I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland. Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house’
Todt is the head of motorsport’s governing body FIA and makes regular visits Schumacher in Switzerland. Pictured together in 2006
The former Formula One world champion, who turned 50 on January 3, fell and hit his head on a rock while skiing off-piste at the Méribel resort in the French Alps in December 2013.
Michael suffered severe head injuries in the accident and had to be placed in a coma, with doctors saying he was lucky to survive. He has not been seen in public since.
Four months after the accident doctors began pulling Schumacher out of the coma, and in June 2014 the process was completed.
He was transferred to a rehabilitation clinic, and in September that year was taken home to continue his recovery in privacy.
Since then, little has been said about his state of health – though lawyer Felix Damm revealed in court in 2016 that Schumacher ‘cannot walk’, as the family sued a German newspaper for reporting otherwise.
Son Mick (pictured last weekend) has also spoken of his father since he began racing Formula 2 for Ferrari, Michael’s old team, but revealed little about his state of health. ‘The one person I would want to [be like] is my dad,’ he said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in May this year.
Schumacher celebrates first position on the podium with team boss Jean Todt at the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix
Corinna, who has been married to Schumacher for 23 years (pictured in 2003) called her husband ‘a fighter’ who ‘will not give up’
Schumacher’s wife Corinna (pictured with him in 2012) has insisted on secrecy on his condition from family and friends
Respecting the family, who have asked to keep his condition out of the spotlight, Todt added: ‘It’s something very private’ but did reveal the retired German was ‘very well taken care of; he lives with his family in his house between Geneva and Lausanne.
‘In the end, only positive thoughts help him.
‘I and his whole family are positive in the mental sense, despite the circumstances.’
Michael’s son Mick, who was at his father’s side aged 14 when he hit that rock and suffered a brain haemorrhage, is the F3 champion and has signed to race for Prema in Formula Two, F1’s feeder series. His future is promising, with seats at Mercedes or Ferrari a possibility one day.
Mick, who is said to be as private as his father, rarely delivers medical bulletins to outsiders, but last year he told Germany’s RTL channel of his relationship with Michael before the accident.
‘My dad asked if I wanted to do racing professionally or whether we should just do it for fun, as a hobby. I, of course, said I wanted to do it professionally.
‘The one person I would want to [be like] is my dad,’ he said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in May this year.
Michael (pictured with Todt) suffered severe head injuries in the accident and had to be placed in a coma, with doctors saying he was lucky to survive. He has not been seen in public since. Four months after the accident doctors began pulling Schumacher out of the coma, and in June 2014 the process was completed.
Bernie Ecclestone has said he believes Michael Schumacher will recover from head injuries he suffered in a skiing accident in a new trailer for a documentary about the driver’s life (pictured together in 2000)
The £50m mansion in Gland, Switzerland in which Schumacher is hidden from the world
The seven-time world champion celebrates another win during his dominant years at Ferrari
Since the accident on a clear, sunny morning in Meribel, much has transpired in Formula One
Asked what it was like to look back over his father’s career, he added: ‘It’s never easy. What my dad did was extraordinary. I appreciate it more every day.’
‘I always want to compare myself to the best, and my father is the best. He’s also my idol. I’m pleased if I can compare myself to him.
‘Many world champions compare themselves to my father. Even on days when the karting track was closed we’d go there and we were allowed to do some laps. That was always the best time’ he added.
Last month, F1 boss Bernie Eccleston also gave an insight into the famous driver’s health.
In a trailer for ‘Schumacher’, shown to audiences at Cannes Film Festival, the billionaire says: ‘He is not with us at the moment. But when he gets better, he’ll answer all the questions.’
The film is due to be released in Germany this year, with international rights still in the process of being sold.
Schumacher’s father Rolf, 74, also appears in it, saying: ‘He knew what he wanted as a child. That was no wonder, that was the skill he had worked for himself.’
Michael Schumacher’s father Rolf Schumacher, left, and brother Ralf Schumacher, another racing driver, arrive at Grenoble Hospital in January 2014 after the accident
Schumacher chats with Ferrari consultant Niki Lauda during the practice session for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in 1996
Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna (left, with her husband) has issued a rare statement thanking fans ahead of the Formula 1 legend’s 50th birthday tomorrow
Corinna Schumacher told the driver’s fans that ‘we are doing everything possible to help him’ as he battles to recover from a devastating ski accident in France in 2013 ahead of his 50th birthday earlier this year
Wife Corinna also speaks in it, saying: ‘Michael is a fighter and will not give up.’
In January this year Corinna, who has been helping medical teams nurse her husband back to health, shared a rare update ahead of his 50th birthday.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘We are pleased and wholeheartedly thank you for celebrating Michael’s 50th birthday with him and with us.
‘You can be sure that he is in good hands and we are doing everything humanly possible to help him.
‘Please understand we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as [his] health… in privacy.
‘At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy 2019.’