Michael Schumacher's family have released a statement ahead of the German's 50th birthday. The seven-time world champion will turn 50 on Thursday, January 3rd, but hasn't been seen in public since his skiing accident in late 2013.
Schumacher was skiing in the Alps five years ago when he fell and hit his head. The extent of his injuries have been kept private to his family, however they have released a series of statements over the years. In their latest one, they encourage all to celebrate Michael's birthday along with "his records and his jubilation".
The full statement read: "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. As a gift to him, you and us, Keep Fighting Foundation has created a virtual museum.
"The Official Michael Schumacher App will be released tomorrow, so that we can review all together Michael's successes. The app is another milestone in our effort to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments. We wish you a lot of fun with it.
"Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we! That's why we remember his successes with the Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition in Cologne, by publishing memories in social media and by continuing his charitable work through the Keep Fighting Foundation. We want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation.
"You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him. Please understand if we are following Michael's wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy. At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy year 2019."
Schumacher remains F1's most established driver, racking up 91 victories and bagging 155 podiums. In celebration of his successful career as he approaches his birthday, F1Today.net is running a series of features looking back on the German's career, part 5 of which will be released later today.
Michael Schumacher Special: Part 1 - The birth of a great champion
Michael Schumacher Special: Part 2 - The spectacular debut and his opening period at Benetton
Michael Schumacher Special: Part 3 - The early Benetton years and controversy
Michael Schumacher Special: Part 4 - The second world title and a nightmare in Jerez
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing