Fans of Michael Schumacher have been offered renewed hope that he is on the road to a full recovery. The German racing ace is responding well to treatment and is likely to recover from his brain injuries, according to former Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.
Back in February, Luca told the press that Michael's heath was "not good" – but this week, he had some positive news to share. "I'm very pleased to know that he is reacting," he told Ecumenical News.
Michael Schumacher pictured with his devoted wife of 21 years, Corinna
"I know how strong he is. I'm sure that thanks to his determination, which will be crucial, he will come out from this very, very difficult situation."
There have been a number of conflicting reports about Michael's health ever since he was injured in a horrific skiing accident in 2013. The 47-year-old had to be placed in an induced coma for six months due to brain injuries, and has been receiving treatment at his home in Switzerland since September 2014.
Updates on his progress have been scarce – but in March 2015, friend and former racing driver Philippe Streiff confirmed that Michael remained paralysed and in a wheelchair, and that he could not speak.
The Formula 1 star was very badly injured in a skiing accident in December 2013
"He is getting better but everything is relative," said the Frenchman, who was himself left wheelchair-bound by a pre-season training crash in 1989. "It's very difficult. He can't speak. Like me, he is in a wheelchair paralysed. He has memory problems and speech problems."
In February of this year, Michael's longtime manager Sabine Kehm said it was important to remember the seven-time world champion's achievements, as she attended an exhibition opening in Marburg, Germany.
The 47-year-old is a seven-time world champion
"He is the most successful driver in history and sometimes, on days like this, it is good to be reminded of it. Of course, Michael is not here and of course we miss him. We know what has happened and cannot change it," she said.
"We must accept it and hope with everything that we have that with continued support and patience he will one day be back with us."