More than two-and-a-half years since a skiing accident left him with severe brain injuries, news about the condition of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher remains scarce. The seven-time world champion spent six months in an induced coma after falling and hitting a rock while skiing in the French Alps in December 2013.
Since returning to his home on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in September 2016, the German’s family has maintained a strict guard on his privacy. And his manager Sabine Kehm, who throughout has been responsible for speaking on behalf of Schumacher’s wife, Corinna, has made clear in the last few days that that stance won’t be changing any time soon.
“We all know that I cannot comment," she said at a charity event in Frankfurt,” reports German publication Kölner Express. “We just have to accept that the family wants to continue to protect their privacy.
"Of course, Michael will not disappear but at the moment the private situation is so difficult that unfortunately no insight can be given. There must be understanding for this.”
Kehm’s previous update came in February when she said that “We must hope with everything we have that, with continued support and patience, he will one day be back with us.” Before that she denied reports from a German magazine that Schumacher was able to walk again.
It has been reported that the family has already sold off a holiday home in Norway and a private jet in order to pay for his continued medical expenses. During his career, Schumacher became the wealthiest Formula 1 driver, thanks to stints with Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes and breaking records for most championships, race wins, pole positions and podium finishes.
Schumacher’s son is now hoping to follow in his footsteps. Mick Schumacher is just 17 years old but is already in Formula 4, where he sits second in the championship, and is eyeing a move up to Formula 3. It was after a season in F3, that 18-year-old Formula 1 star Max Verstappen was plucked, becoming the youngest race winner in F1 earlier this year. With such a famous surname, a similar rise has been predicted by some for Mick Schumacher. Perhaps understandably, given the attention on his progress, he is keen to take a patient path.
“It's important to me to have a solid base and to become confident in all areas racing will be confronting me with,” he told Pirelli’s website last month. “Exactly for this reason I will not be rushed and will not only have an eye for the quick results.”
Mick Schumacher will also take part in a charity soccer match in honor of his father on July 27. A team of drivers, including Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, will take on a side captained by NBA star Dirk Nowitzki, with all proceeds going to two German charities ahead of the German Grand Prix.
“Over many years Michael has been both an initiator and integral part of charity soccer matches,” Kehm said. “We are happy that together with Dirk we can offer a real highlight to the many fans who we would like to thank for their continuous support with this match. We hope they will have a lot of fun that evening."