Ross Brawn has moved to clarify recent comments he made regarding Michael Schumacher's recovery from the head injuries he sustained in a skiing accident in December 2013.
Brawn, who spent many years alongside the seven-time world champion at Benetton, Ferrari, and Mercedes, recently told the BBC there were “encouraging signs” and that he hopes to “continue to see some progress” in Schumacher's recovery.
But in an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, Brawn now explains that he did not intend to imply that the 47-year-old's condition was improving.
Asked whether he still visited Schumacher, the former Ferrari technical director replied: “We do. We go see him and hope and pray that one day he will make a recovery.
“I was quoted as saying he’s improving and it was not what I really meant. The family are conducting his convalescence in private and I need to respect that.
“So I don’t want to comment on his condition beyond saying we’re extremely hopeful we’ll see Michael as we knew him at some point in the future.”
Brawn adds that he still remembers the shock he and his family felt on the day they heard of his former driver’s accident.
“I was going up to Scotland for new year and his PA called. We cancelled our plans and went to see him. It was terribly traumatic for the family – and shocking for us.
“Michael was such a strong character and all through his racing career he only suffered a broken leg. The irony of this happening during a quieter life was terrible.”
Following his skiing accident, Schumacher spent six months in a medically-induced coma before finally returning home in July 2014 to continue his recovery, with updates on his condition few and far between since then.