Formula One great Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left a French hospital where he had been receiving treatment since a skiing accident in December, his manager said.

Schumacher left the hospital in Grenoble "to continue his long phase of rehabilitation", manager Sabine Kehm said in a statement. She gave no further details on Schumacher's condition, and her office refused to elaborate.

For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.

Schumacher family statement

Schumacher is now at the Lausanne University Hospital in neighbouring Switzerland, hospital spokesman Darcy Christen said.

Schumacher, his wife and their two children live in Switzerland. His accident happened on a family holiday as he was skiing with his 14-year-old son.

Schumacher's family "would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months," Kehm's statement said.

Away from public eye

"The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes. We are sure it helped him," it added. "For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye."

The 45-year-old German driver suffered severe head injuries in the December 29 accident, which split his helmet as he crashed into rocks on the slope at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps.

Doctors in Grenoble indiced a coma to rest his brain and decrease swelling, and they operated to remove blood clots, but some were too deeply embedded.

Schumacher earned universal acclaim for his uncommon and sometimes ruthless driving talent, which led to a record 91 race wins. He retired from F1 racing in 2012 after an unmatched seven world titles.

Source: AP