LONDON (Reuters) – The family of stricken seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher have assured fans the Ferrari great is being well cared for as they prepare to celebrate his 50th birthday on Thursday.
Schumacher, who retired from racing in 2012, has not been seen in public since he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident five years ago. The German is being cared for at home in Switzerland.
“You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” the family said in a statement that made a rare comment about his condition.
“Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy,” it added.
The family said an official Michael Schumacher app will be released on Thursday to enable fans to review all his career successes.
The Keep Fighting Foundation has also created a virtual museum.
“The app is another milestone in our effort to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments,” the family said.
“Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we… we want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation.”
Schumacher won his first two titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before five in a row with Ferrari between 2000-2004.
He remains the sport’s most successful driver, with a record 91 grand prix wins.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, now a five-times world champion with 73 wins, has already claimed several of the German’s records and could ultimately match his title tally if he continues his current rate of success.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)