A worried friend of Michael Schumacher fears his family are "in denial" about the stricken F1 legend's recovery prospects.

A family friend spoke out as Corinna Schumacher reportedly embarked upon a £10m project to build a state of the art care facility on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Schumacher will live there if and when he leaves Grenoble hospital, where he is currently being treated.

But pessimism has been growing steadily about Schumacher's chances of making any sort of meaningful recovery from the catastrophic head injuries he suffered in a ski crash late last year.

The family friend said of the star's family: "Is there a sense of denial at play among them? I would say yes."

Corinna and Schumacher's children have maintained daily vigils at his bedside. Failing to hold out for and prepare for a possibe recovery would be "treachery" they think.

"[Corrina] would view breaking faith with the hope of a miracle a betrayal, little better than treachery," said the friend in The Sun.

"She feels that the family communes around his bedside pulsate their hope and love to him, and that of the millions of fans worldwide who share that faith.

"She can't express defeat because that would be the end of her."

Schumacher's family's faith in his recovery have been buoyed by continuing support from around the world.

Racer Felipe Massa revealed this week he says private prayers daily for Schumacher.

But elsewhere, a former chief doctor of Formula 1 warned family and friends to expect "really bad news" about the former world champion. Gary Hartstein said it was "less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent" and blamed doctors treating him at Grenoble hospital for "worsening the outcome".