Michael Schumacher is making eye-contact and responding to voices, according to the very latest media reports.

Michael Schumacher und Nico Rosberg zu Besuch bei Mercedes-AMG in AffalterbachEarlier, after a worrying three-month long coma, the F1 legend’s manager Sabine Kehm revealed that Schumacher is now having “moments of consciousness and awakening”. The news cheered the F1 paddock in Bahrain, but now there are apparently even more signs of improvement in the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver’s previously life-threatening brain injuries. Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Schumacher is making encouraging eye movements, while Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper claims the great 45-year-old German is even responding to voices.

Family friend Jean Alesi, a former F1 driver, has visited Schumacher several times in hospital, and he is now much more optimistic about the future. “First, Michael responded only to pain, when he was pinched for example,” he is quoted by Speed Week. “But that can also be an unconscious reaction of the body. “During my last visit I realised that something was beginning to change for the better. I felt with the family some relief, a great joy about how things were developing. “It is fabulous,” the Frenchman claimed, “even though the path back to life is still long.”

Felipe Massa, a former Ferrari teammate of Schumacher’s and another close friend, seemed to confirm that the seven time world champion is now responding to voices. “I cannot really put into words how excited I am about it,” the Brazilian admitted in Bahrain. “I prayed every day for Michael and they were answered. Now I hope to continue to hear good news from Grenoble,” Massa added.