A leading neurologist has given family and fans of stricken motorsport legend Michael Schumacher new hope that the former Formula One world champion could yet recover from the serious head injuries he sustained more than four years ago.

Schumacher, who turned 49 earlier this month, was placed in a medically-induced coma after hitting his head on a rock in a skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013.

Although information on his condition has been scarce, it's believed the German has received around-the-clock care at his home in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, by a team of up to 15 doctors and nurses at an estimated cost of nearly $200,000 a week.

Now a top German doctor now claims there is still hope for the seven-time F1 champion, reports The Express.

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Citing a recent study of people who have been in vegetative states, Professor Mark Obermann, Director of the Centre for Neurology at the Asklepios clinic in Seesen, Germany, said nearly half of patients have "regained consciousness".

"According to a Swedish study, between 30 and 40 per cent of patients have regained consciousness within four years," Obermann said.

"Many can come back to life and see how their children and grandchildren grow up, what plans they have or what else happens in the family or in the circle of friends."

Obermann emphasised the importance of Schumacher's family - wife Corrina and children Gina Maria and son Mick - love and care which played an important part in his recovery.

"It is assumed that the patients are aware of more than we previously thought was possible."

Gina Maria Schumacher took to Instagram earlier this month to write a heartfelt message to her father on his 49th birthday.

She wrote on the social networking site: "Happy Birthday to the best Dad ever. We love you. #keepfighting."

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