Michael Schumacher's close friend gives rare update on the F1 star's condition
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FIA president Jean Todt says Michael Schumacher is keenly following the progress of his son, Mick, as he closes in on a Formula One seat.
As his father continues his fight after devastating head injuries suffered in a skiing accident in 2013, Mick has embarked on a motorsport career of his own and currently leads the F2 standings.
Fans of the Ferrari legend have been desperate to know if Michael – whose condition remains shrouded in secrecy – has been able to enjoy his son's rise to the top.
They now have an answer.
"Of course he is following him," Todt told RTL France.
"Mick is probably going to race in Formula 1 next year which will be a great challenge. We would be delighted to have a new Schumacher at the highest level of motor racing."
Todt, the former Ferrari boss, visits Michael every month and is the most regular source of news about the 51-year-old's health.
"This is a question on which I am going to be extremely reserved," the Frenchman told RTL.
"I see Michael very often – once or twice a month. My answer is the same all the time – he fights. We can only wish for him and his family that things get better."
Schumacher's health has been an issue of intense public fascination since he suffered a near-fatal brain injury in 2013 after falling and hitting his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps.
Despite wearing a helmet, the German's injuries were so severe he was placed into a medically-induced coma.
Since his accident nearly seven years ago there have been only scraps of information on his ongoing recovery.
He is understood to have regained consciousness and left hospital in 2014 to continue his recovery at home in Switzerland.
Renowned neurosurgeon Erich Riederer speculated in a documentary that aired on French TV earlier this year the seven-time F1 champion was a shell of his former self.
"I think he's in a vegetative state, which means he's awake," he told TMC.
"He is breathing, his heart is beating, he can probably sit up and take baby steps with help, but no more.
"I think that's the maximum for him. Is there any chance of seeing him like he was before his accident? I really don't think so."
But it appears he is at least able to cherish the exploits of his son, who is expected to be handed some practice experience by Ferrari at the season-ending F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi before being handed a full-time drive with another team in 2021.