The family of Michael Schumacher has provided a rare statement on the seven-time Formula 1 world champion ahead of his 50th birthday.

Schumacher suffered serious head injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013 and details about his condition have been privately guarded by his family ever since.

But ahead of the German turning 50 on Thursday, his family shared an update about his recovery, adding F1’s all-time record holder is “in the very best of hands”.

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“You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” his family said in a statement.

“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’s family say they will celebrate “his victories, his records and his jubilation” on Thursday, while Ferrari - who Schumacher won five of his seven world titles with between 1996 and 2006 - will open a special exhibition dedicated to its former driver at its museum.

A “virtual museum” will also be made available to fans upon the launch of the Official Michael Schumacher App.

“The Official Michael Schumacher App will be released tomorrow, so that we can review all together Michael’s successes,” his family added.

“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.”

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