Michael Schumacher’s manager has spoken out for the first time since 2014 about the Formula One champion’s tragic skiing accident in 2013. As reported by Yahoo!, Sabine Kehm, who has managed Schumacher since 2010, spoke at an exhibition celebrating Schumacher’s career in Marburg, Germany.
“He is the most successful driver in history and sometimes, on days like this, it is good to be reminded of it. Of course, Michael is not here and of course we miss him. We know what has happened and cannot change it. We must accept it and hope with everything we have that, with continued support and patience, he will one day be back with us.”
Schumacher is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 champions of all time, and is certainly among the most controversial. After beginning his Formula One career with Jordan in 1991, Schumacher went on to win a record-breaking seven world championships — five with the Ferrari team. His partnership with team principal Jean Todt and technical director Ross Brawn was legendary, and the trio practically ruled F1 for much of the first decade of the 21st century.
Schumacher finally retired from professional motor racing in 2012, but continued to participate in sports such as soccer, motorcycle racing, and horse-riding. However it was his love of skiing that was to nearly cost him his life; in December 2013 he sustained a near-fatal accident while skiing off-piste near Meribel in the French Alps.
Schumacher suffered a devastating head injury after hitting his head on a rock on the slopes. He underwent brain surgery and was in a medically induced coma for nearly six months. After a stay in hospital in Grenoble, Schumacher was airlifted to a medical center in Lausanne, Switzerland, where his condition was kept closely guarded. However his friend and fellow racing driver Philippe Streiff spoke about Schumacher in 2014, according to the Telegraph.
“He is getting better but everything is relative. It’s very difficult. He can’t speak. Like me, he is in a wheelchair paralysed. He has memory problems and speech problems.”
Schumacher is currently being cared for at his home on Lake Geneva. Fans have become increasingly concerned with the lack of news about his condition, as well as reports like that of Willi Weber, Schumacher’s former manager. As reported by the Inquisitr, Weber claims he was banned from seeing Michael by Schumacher’s wife Corinna.
“Corinna prevents me any contact with Michael. I’ve tried dozens of times to get permission to visit, each time without success. The situation is terrible for me. But my family is suffering. Our families were for 25 years so closely linked — and now no one can understand.”
Former Chairman of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo spoke about Michael earlier this month, as reported by the Guardian.
“I have news and unfortunately it is not good…he was the most successful driver of Ferrari and in his career he had only one accident, in 1999. But unfortunately a fall in a ski accident has broken him.”
Todt, however, was much more optimistic at the Mexican Grand Prix in November 2015, saying that “Michael is still fighting…we must keep him fighting with the family.”
It is hardly surprising that the Schumacher family is trying to give Michael all the privacy they can during his recovery. According to the Telegraph “a journalist dressed as a priest to try and gain access to Schumacher’s hospital room” in Grenoble and his medical files were reportedly stolen and offered for sale.
Michael Schumacher continues to receive well-wishes from his legion of fans, and his official website was recently relaunched to give fans a place to leave messages of support and relive Michael’s legendary career.
The Schumacher family’s heartfelt message on the website gives hope to fans that Schumacher may yet recover.
“We remain confident and hope the best for Michael. Your strength is helping us to keep supporting him.”
[Photo by Bas Czerwinski/AP Images]