Michael Schumacher is showing "small, encouraging signs" in hospital two and a half months after his devastating skiing accident.
The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been in a coma in a Grenoble hospital since sustaining head injuries when he fell while skiing on December 29 last year.
His management announced in late January that doctors had begun "the waking up process", but no further medical updates had been issued since then.
On Wednesday morning his manager Sabine Kehm released a further statement saying that there was some cause for encouragement.
"We are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and wake up," she said.
"There are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient.
"Michael has suffered severe injuries. It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation.
"It was clear from the start that this will be a long and hard fight for Michael.
"We are taking this fight on together with the team of doctors, whom we fully trust.
"The length of the process is not the important part for us."
Kehm also reiterated the family's appreciation of fans' support, while underlining their need for privacy amid criticism in some quarters over the handling of information about Schumacher's condition.
"It is heart-warming to see how much sympathy his family is shown and I can say that the family is extremely grateful for it," said Kehm.
"However, it should not be forgotten that Michael's family is dealing with an extremely intimate and fragile situation.
"And I would like to remind all of us that Michael has always actively kept his family out of the public eye and consequently protected their private lives."