The four-time world champion told German magazine Sport Bild many fans not only ask: “How is Michael Schumacher today?” but also: “What was the Formula One legend really like?” The fellow German said the popular image of Schumacher as “pedantic and obsessed” as a racing driver were based on rumours. He said he was often asked if the 50-year-old incorporated “legendary German virtues” in his record-breaking career on the circuit.
Vettel said: ”I’m not sure how German Michael really is, each person is different, so you should not label someone. A lot of it is certain to be rumours.
“He was very thorough and meticulous when he was at Ferrari.
“It is clear that Michael was also so successful because of his way of working. And of course that also rubs off on others.
“Am I like that? That should be answered by others.
“I do not think that Michael bragged about his thorough way of working. Others have attested it to him. “
“Michael was my great role model, he still is in a certain way today.”
Schumacher is still receiving private round-the-clock care in a purpose-built medical facility at his home in Switzerland.
The record-breaking seven-time world champion suffered a traumatic brain injury in a ski accident in the French Alps in December 2013.
He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months before leaving hospital in Grenoble, France, for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland.
In September 2014 he was relocated to his Swiss mansion where treatment has continued.
There were glimmers of hope for fans earlier this year when it emerged Schumacher spent Christmas, New Year and his 50th birthday with his wife and children at the family’s luxury villa in Majorca.
He was flown from his home to the Spanish holiday island in a specially-adapted helicopter.
The villa features stunning sea views, two swimming pools, a helipad and large garden.
Schumacher has not been seen in public since his horrific accident but the latest update on his condition came from a German archbishop who said the driving champion still looks the same but his face had “become a little fuller”.
His family have kept his health immensely private and repeatedly said it is not a public matter, despite a huge outpouring of support from his millions of fans.