The news about Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is “not good,” according to his former boss at Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo.
Schumacher, a record seven-time F1 world champion, is still recovering at his Swiss home after a skiing accident in the French Alps on Dec. 29, 2013 left him with severe head injuries. After almost six months in an induced coma, he was transferred to a facility in Lausanne before leaving for his home overlooking Lake Geneva. His family has repeatedly urged for their privacy to be respected and released few updates about the 47-year-old’s condition. But Di Montezemolo, who was president of Ferrari as Schumacher won five consecutive drivers’ titles between 2000 and 2004, has suggested that the German’s condition is not improving.
“I have news and unfortunately it is not good,” he told reporters without elaborating. “Life is strange. He was a fantastic driver and only had one accident with Ferrari in 1999.”
According to the BBC, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm has declined to respond to Di Montezemolo’s comments.
In the past Kehm has been quick to issue responses to unsanctioned claims about Schumacher’s health. When former driver Philippe Streiff stated in late 2014 that Schumacher was confined to a wheelchair and had memory and speech problems, Kehm denied that Streiff had never visited him. A spokesman later added that Streiff’s comments were merely “his opinion.”
In December, just before the two-year anniversary of the accident, a German magazine claimed that Schumacher was able to walk again. Kehm, though, again vehemently refuted the claims.
“Unfortunately, we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true,” she said. “Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, Michael's privacy is very important for him. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many people involved.”
Along with Di Montezemolo, two more of Schumacher’s former Ferrari colleagues have also provided recent updates. Former general manager Jean Todt stated in October that Schumacher was “still fighting,” while the technical mastermind of Schumacher’s titles at both Benetton and Ferrari, Ross Brawn, relayed his own experience of visiting his friend.
“I do keep in touch [with Schumacher’s family], but we try and keep a balance of going to see him against calling, and not being a pain,” he said in October, according to the Daily Mirror. “I’ve been to see him a few times; Corinna, his wife, calls me occasionally and keeps me updated. We just keep praying every day that he’ll recover to a stage where…it's slow, but there's always hope.”