Former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa has revealed Michael Schumacher remains in a 'difficult phase'
Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One champion, has not made a public appearance since a skiing accident in 2014 where he suffered a serious head injury, with his family furiously keeping him behind closed doors while he recovers.
Speaking to Fox Sports Brazil about his former teammate's condition, Massa said: "I know how he (Schumacher) is, I have information".
"My relationship with him has always been very close. It is less close with his wife Corinna because she did not go to many races.
"But I think the main thing about all this is that we know that his situation is not easy.
"He is in a difficult phase but we need to respect him and the family."
In December, Kean-Francois Payen, who was the first to confirm Schumacher had come out of his coma five years ago, gave insight into the treatment he has been receiving, telling German publication In Touch "There is a one-to-three year plan for the regeneration period.
"I still visit him occasionally and talk to the family about any progress I see."
Dr Payen was limited in what he could expose around Schumacher's current state as he needed to "respect confidentiality".
But he did add Schumacher is making progress and in a positive state.
Payen heaped praise on Schumacher's wife Corinna, saying she has done everything necessary to help her husband recover, and credited her "extraordinary will power" and awareness of what lies ahead.
"She sees things very clearly and will do anything to make her husband's condition better."