Motor racing: Former F1 champ Schumacher leaves hospital to recover at home

Michael Schumacher has left hospital to continue his recovery at home.

But the former Formula One champion faces "a long and difficult road ahead" after his skiing accident last year, a statement said on Tuesday.

His rehab will take place at his home by Lake Geneva.

"Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months," the German's manager Sabine Kehm said.

"We ask that the privacy of Michael's family continue to be respected and that speculation about his state of health are avoided."

A spokesman for the university hospital in Lausanne confirmed that the seven-time world champion, 45, had been discharged earlier in the day.

There were no details about his condition.

Photo: AFP

Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident in the French Alps on Dec 29. He was transferred to Lausanne in June after emerging from a coma.

He underwent nearly three months of treatment in an outdoor section of the hospital known as Jardin des Sens or Garden of the Senses. The area is shielded from view and specialises in the recovery of severely traumatised neurological patients by exposing them to water, various scents and other elements.

Schumi's fans gather outside the Grenoble University Hospital Centre to mark his 45th birthday. Photo: AFP

Scuderia Ferrari's supporters hold a banner in support of Schmacher at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 4, 2014, ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix. Photo: AFP

Last month, a man suspected of leaking Schumacher's medical files was found hanged in his police cell, Zurich's cantonal prosecutor said.

The man, who was not named, had been involved in Schumacher's transfer to University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV).

The French daily Le Dauphine Libere reported in July that leaked documents were offered to European media for some 60,000 Swiss francs (S$81,200).

Schumacher's family, via his agent Kehm, said criminal charges and damages would be sought against anyone involved in the illegal sale or publication of his confidential records.

Schumacher, who won a record 91 F1 races, left the sport last year after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes. He had come out of retirement after leaving Ferrari at the end of 2006. - Reuters

michael schumacherFormula 1hospitalcoma