Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has admitted that he is still in shock by the skiing accident which has left Formula One legend Michael Schumacher legend lying in a coma for over two months.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, Di Montezemolo said: "Michael was and still is a very important person in my life. From 1996 onwards so many things happened in the lives of both of us and, in the difficult times, Michael was always incredibly close to the team.
"What’s happened to him was a real shock to me, after all the events we shared and a great affection still remains. Michael at the moment needs that affection and support from everyone."
The seven-times champion Schumacher fell while skiing in France in December, and hit the right side of his head on a rock, cracking his helmet. Doctors operated to remove blood clots from his brain but some were left because they were too deeply embedded.
Schumacher's condition stabilised after he was placed in the coma. Late last month, doctors began the process of withdrawing sedatives to try to wake him up.
His agent, Sabine Kehm, has confirmed that "Michael is still in the wake-up phase" and that "this phase can be long." Schumacher's family has released few details of his condition to protect his privacy.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies