Felipe Massa remains hopeful his friend and former Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher can pull out of an induced coma and return to health.
The retired seven-times Formula One champion suffered severe head injuries when he slammed into a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel in December, and has been in a stable but critical condition in a hospital in the French city of Grenoble since.
Schumacher's agent raised hope this week that the 45-year-old German might revive when she wrote of "small, encouraging signs" in his condition since doctors started lowering his sedation in January to wake him up from the induced coma.
"I keep praying and believe that things can be okay for him and he's coming back," Massa told reporters at Albert Park on Thursday ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
"I always think about him every day, pray for him every day.
"For sure it was a shame to see what's happened, but I keep thinking about him. He's on my helmet."
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
1/17 February 2006
Michael Schumacher is seen in the pits during a training session at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste near Valencia in 2006
2/17 November 1994
Hugging two team mechanics in delight for becoming World Champion Driver after the Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide circuit in November 1994
3/17 October 1995
Flavio Briatore carries a jubilant Michael after he wins the Pacific F1 Grand Prix at Aida in Japan, and wins his second World Drivers Championshp
4/17 February 1996
Schmacher pushes his Ferrari back to the pits after engine trouble left him stranded at the entrance of the pitlane during pre-season testing at Estoril, Portugal
5/17 March 1996
During the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne
6/17 March 1997
Michael Schumacher in the pit lane during the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia
7/17 October 2000
Celebrating on the podium after winning the formula one world championship at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Japan
8/17 July 2006
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari leads the pack into the first corner at the start of the French Formula One Grand Prix at the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit
Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
9/17 October 2010
Michael Schumacher drives during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit
Clive Mason/Getty Images
10/17 October 2011
Michael Schumacher and Mercedes GP waves to the crowd as he attends the drivers parade before the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on October 30, 2011 in Noida, India
11/17 December 2011
Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher celebrate after winning the Nations Cup at day one of the race of champions event at the Esprit Arena
12/17 June 2012
Michael Schumacher drives at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 22, 2012 in Valencia during the first practice race of the European Formula One Grand Prix
13/17 September 2012
Michael Schumacher crashes into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in September 2012
14/17 November 2012
Schumacher drives in his last race during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
15/17 December 2013
Deputy director Jean Marc Grenier talks to media outside the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps
16/17 December 2013
Members of the staff are seen outside the emergency services at the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps; this is the hospital where retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is reported to be hospitalized after a ski accident
17/17 December 2013
A Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher fan waits, on December 29, in Grenoble, in front of the emergency department of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire hospital
The 32-year-old Massa joined Ferrari as a test driver in 2003 during Schumacher's hey-day and after two seasons with Sauber returned to the team in 2006 for the German's last season at Maranello.
Brazilian Massa spent several days in an induced coma in 2009 after being hit by a bouncing spring from another car and has led the tributes to Schumacher, the sport's most successful driver.
After eight years at Ferrari, largely overshadowed by twice world championship-winning team mate Fernando Alonso, Massa has been replaced by 2007 champion Kimi Raikonnen at Maranello and moved to Williams, where he will be expected to take a leading role ahead of 24-year-old Finn Valtteri Bottas.
Despite coming off a wretched season in which they managed only five points and finished ninth in the constructors' championship, a revamped Williams arrive at Albert Park more confident after a good showing during pre-season testing.
"I feel the team is really motivated, they want to grow, to get better and get back to the times when Williams was there," Massa said of the once-formidable team that won nine constructors titles between 1980 and 1997.
"I don't know how competitive we can be, compared to the other teams ... maybe we can see ourselves fighting with them and being competitive with the top teams.
"I'm really looking forward and I think it can be a really nice season for us, but how nice I don't know."
Massa said in professional aspects, his new team was much the same as Ferrari, but admitted he was still getting used to the British style compared to the more animated personalities in the Ferrari garage.
"They are much more quiet," he said of his Williams colleagues.
"The Italians - they cannot talk without shaking the hands," he added, gesticulating.
"And I am like that, I'm from Brazil as well.
"Understanding the way they talk (at Willliams), because I haven't lived in England, is also new for me. It's nice. It's a nice experience, but definitely the mentality is pretty different."