Michael Schumacher has started to recognise family members, according to a family friend.
Philippe Streiff, another former F1 driver, told French media that Schumacher 'has yet to recover the power of speech' but is 'nevertheless starting to recognise those close to him'.
Schumacher, 45, suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident in Meribel in the French Alps one year ago today.
The former Formula One ace emerged from an induced coma in June, and left hospital in September.
In an interview with Le Parisien, Streiff said he had learned of Schumacher's progress from his wife, Corinna, and his surgeon, Gerard Saillant.
Streiff, claiming to be a 'family friend', said Schumacher, had 'very limited' movement but was working on sitting upright, and that 'long term... he could hope one day to walk with crutches.'
However, Schumacher's manager has disputed the comments, saying Schumacher faces a 'long fight' for recovery, and that Streiff is not a family friend.