Michelle Yeoh, the actress whose partner is the ex-Ferrari team principal, made history as the first Asian to win Best Actress at the Oscars this year.

Her glory reminded Todt of the 2000 F1 Japanese Grand Prix where Schumacher won the third of seven championships, his first with Ferrari.

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“I celebrate the new world champion I have at home: my partner,” Todt, now 77, told Corriere della Sera.

"It was like winning a championship. When we got to Los Angeles we thought we had a chance, but you don't know until you open the envelope.

“When they mentioned the name, I was overjoyed. I know the efforts of Michelle, the first Asian actress...

"I said in her ear: 'I have the same feeling as when I took Michael in 2000 to Suzuka’. 

“He was writing history. So I say we have a new world champion in the family."

Todt is one of very few people permitted to visit the F1 legend, who lives at home shielded from the public ever since a skiing accident nearly a decade ago left him in a coma.

“Let's leave him alone,” Todt said when asked about Schumacher now. 

“We respect the privacy wishes of Corinna and her children, we know that that accident had consequences. 

“Anyone who says he knows something, he knows nothing. I always go to see him. He and his family are my family.”

Todt had previously said: "It's a privilege for me to be close, in the family with Michael, with Corinna, with [Mick Schumacher] and Gina.

“Their lives changed on December 29, 2013. They have to live everything differently. 

“The important thing is that there is the closeness of friends. And Keep Fighting, their foundation. 

“They are things that are part of life and that they are more important than results and our beloved races. Life, for everyone, is not just racing."