Michael Schumacher can 'sense that loving people are around him,' a German Archbishop has claimed.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein has spoken of his emotional visit to Schumacher's home in 2016, where he spent time at the Formula One champion's bedside.
Schumacher suffered a critical injury to his brain when he fell while skiing in 2013 with his then 14-year-old son, Mick, in the French Alps before he was rushed to hospital to receive several major surgeries.
He spent the following six months in a coma and is now believed to be receiving around-the-clock care by a team of 15 physicians at his luxury home in Switzerland.
The 62-year-old Catholic leader said Schumacher's appearance had hardly changed since the skiing accident and believed he could sense love around him.
"I sat opposite him, took hold of both hands and looked at him," Archbishop told Bild. "His face is, as we all know, the typical Michael Schumacher face he has become only a little fuller.
"He senses that loving people are around him, caring for him and, thank God, keeping the overly curious public away.
"I include Michael Schumacher and his family in my prayers."
Earlier this week, Mick revealed the "best times" he enjoyed with his father, describing him as his "idol" in an emotional interview.
Opening up about their relationship before the accident, Mick - now the European Formula 3 champion - revealed his 49-year-old father played a key role in encouraging him to race.
Speaking on Germany's RTL channel, Mick said: "It's wonderful to feel all this support and share it with my family.
"My dad asked if I wanted to do it professionally or whether we should just do it for fun, as a hobby. I of course said I want to do it professionally," Mick said on the 'Schumacher - the next generation' programme.
"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.
"We did a lot of driving around to be quicker. 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."
Schumacher raced in Formula One for Jordan Grand Prix, Benetton, Mercedes and Ferrari, where he spent most of his career.
He is the only driver to win seven Formula One World Championships - five of which were consecutive.
Official Formula One website describes him as "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen".