Michael Schumacher: Mercedes dedicate Nico Rosberg Australian Grand Prix success to driver as he fights for his life

Seven-times champion, who raced for Mercedes for three seasons, remains in a coma

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After Nico Rosberg's triumph in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, the first race of the season, his team Mercedes dedicated the victory to Michael Schumacher, as he fights for his life in a medically-induced coma.

The seven-times champion raced for Mercedes for three seasons after his return to Formula One in 2010, and has been in a coma for some two-and-a-half months following his skiing accident in the French Alps on December 29.

Speaking after the race in Melbourne, Mercedes' executive director Toto Wolff dedicated the win to Rosberg's compatriot Schumacher.

"This victory has a very special meaning for us," Wolff said. "I would like to dedicate it to Michael, who has been in all our thoughts this weekend."

"He will keep fighting, as only he knows how, and we are sending all our strength to him."

The Mercedes cars also contained the phrase "Keep fighting Michael" throughout testing and also during the race.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes with the Schumacher tribute

Sebastian Vettel, the Red Bull driver who has won the championship for the past four seasons, also paid tribute to the 45-year-old at the race with Schumacher's initials on his visor.

Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to Schumacher

Schumacher's family have stayed positive in the difficult circumstances, and released a statement last week on the eve of the Formula One season saying that he was showing "small, encouraging signs of improvement".