MICHAEL Schumacher is "still really close" with his family despite his traumatic head injury, a close pal has revealed in a rare update on the star's condition.
The stricken F1 legend, who turned 50 last week, is being cared for at his home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
He has not been seen publicly since suffering a severe brain injury in a horror skiing accident in the Alps in 2013.
Details on the seven-time world champ's condition have remained scarce.
But since the tragedy, family friend and manager Sabine Kehm has offered small glimpses into the beloved racing star's everyday life.
Interviewed by the podcast Beyond The Grid to mark Schuey's birthday, Kehm said the ace's supportive family have always been his number one priority - and continue to play the same role today.
Asked about how the Ferrari ace would escape the intense demands of a racing driver and world-famous celebrity, Kehm said: "Michael clearly had his family.
"Corinna [and Michael] they were such a perfect couple and they are still a perfect couple if you ask me," she said.
"When he went home and the kids would come in, Formula One was far away. And he needed that privacy.
"His family has always been his charge in a way.
"Family-wise he was — and still is — really close with his family," she added.
"Secondly, Michael managed to have friends from his childhood until now.
"That's a nice thing as well, he's always had them around... he has a bunch of close and very good friends."
Schumacher and wive Corinna have two children, Gina — an award-winning horse rider, 21 — and Mick, 19, who has followed in his dad's footsteps and will race in Formula Two this year.
Schumacher’s team Ferrari also issued a statement on the F1 star’s 50th birthday which urged him to keep fighting.
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He became synonymous with Ferrari after winning a number of titles for the Italian team.
Issuing a rallying cry to their former number 1 driver, the team wrote: “Our champ turns 50 today. We’re all with you Michael #KeepFighting.”
In a rare statement on his health on the eve of his birthday, devoted wife Corrina said the family are doing "everything humanly possible" to help the stricken former Ferrari driver.
The 50-year-old said: "We are very happy to celebrate Michael's 50th birthday tomorrow together with you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts that we can do this together."