Formula 1 - Schumacher family 'believe strongly in recovery'

Former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is still in the wake-up phase from an artificial coma at a Grenoble hospital, his agent said on Thursday.

The 45-year-old German has undergone two operations since sustaining brain injuries after slamming his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29

The seven-times world champion was in a stable but critical condition until late January and doctors started lowering his sedation level two weeks ago to wake him up progressively.

Michael's family would like to again express their sincere thanks for the continuous sympathy coming from all over the world”, Schumacher’s management said.

“The good wishes they receive help the family and, we are convinced they also help Michael, who still is in a waking up process.

“As often in such situation, no day is like the next. The family is thankful for one's understanding that they would not wish to disclose medical details in order to protect Michael's privacy.

“As assured from the beginning we will continue to communicate any decisive new information on Michael's health state. We are aware that the wake up phase can take a long time.

“The family continues to strongly believe in Michael's recovery and place all their trust in the doctors, nurses and nursing auxiliaries team. The important thing is not the speed of the recovery but that Michael's healing process progresses in a continuous and controlled way.”

The lack of official announcements regarding Schumacher’s condition has led to feverish speculation, with doctors in Grenoble where he is being treated forced to deny rumours earlier this week that the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver had died.

It was announced two weeks ago that Schumacher’s sedation was being eased as doctors tried to wake him up from his coma.

Schumacher, who quit the sport in 2012 after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006, won a record 91 Grands Prix.