World Motor Cars

Schumacher’s slow time: the king of speed turns 50

It was a December 29, 2013, it was Sunday morning, on the eve of Christmas Eve and his 46th birthday. It was far from the Formula 1 tracks, oblivious to the noises of the engines and the pits; It was in a quiet ski area where nothing should happen and everything happened. That’s where the legendary German driver Michael Schumacher suffered the accident that changed his life. This Monday, five years later, and just as he takes the curve of 50 years, his health is a mystery.

His life was speed, but in contrast, the news of his health comes slowly, from time to time. Sometimes months go by without a report. His family decided from the beginning the secrecy, silence and confidentiality. What has been known in five years is little: that Michael had an induced coma after the skiing accident he suffered at the Méribel station in the French Alps – when he hit a rock – that his helmet saved him from dying, who had cranioencephalic trauma, intracranial hematomas and diffuse cerebral edema, who had two immediate operations to save his life, who spent some time in the Lausanne hospital, before being transferred, in June 2014, to his mansion in Gland (Switzerland) , the one that became a medical center inside a bunker.

It is said that there, far from the press and public opinion, Michael is monitored by day, night and early morning by a team of medical specialists, who are close to 15, and also by his family, mainly by his wife, Corinna Betsch, who has been her guardian angel, and her son Mich, also by close relatives and friends, an intimate circle that does not accept information leaks.

Nobody outside this environment knows what really happens with the expilot. There is a kind of pact of silence so that nothing leaks out. This Wednesday, however, his family members broke the silence and launched an official communication to the world: “Michael is in the best hands and we are doing everything humanly possible to help him. Please understand, we are following the wishes of Michael and maintaining a subject as delicate as health, as it has always been, in private, “they said without further details, without clarification. Follow the uncertainty.

A mystery
Schumacher is an icon of Formula 1, which he won seven times, two with the Benetton team (1994-1995) and five consecutive with Ferrari (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004). In 2012, after games and returns, it was his official retirement from the slopes. He left them as the biggest, and came out unharmed, despite running single-seaters at speeds close to 300 kilometers per hour. The most serious thing he suffered in the fireballs was a broken leg, in 1999. The fatality is like that, he arrived on a vacation, at less than 40 kilometers per hour, while skiing. Since then, the life of one of the most successful athletes in history is an enigma.

In 2014, his manager, Sabina Kehm, revealed that Michael had moments of “awareness and awakening” in the hospital, they were the first official news of his health, and they were also the last. Since then, it is more what has been speculated: that it does not move, that it does not speak, that it evolves slowly, that it no longer has an artificial respirator, that it no longer remains prostrate in a bed, that it is in a wheelchair, that it does therapy in a swimming pool, that they are going to move to Spain (denial in their environment), that their medical expenses are around 55,000 euros per week … There is no certainty of anything.

However, some information has been coming out in recent years, with testimonies in the press of some friends who have seen Schumacher in the mansion. In 2018, Jean Todt, former Ferrari president and president of the FIA ​​(International Automobile Federation), revealed to Auto Bild from Germany that he was there last December, and that together with Michael they saw the transmission of Formula 1. “Actually I’m always careful when I speak. But yes, it is true that I saw the Brazilian GP with Michael in Switzerland, “he confessed.

Another of the few people outside the family who could have contact with the German ex-pilot was Archbishop Georg Gänswein, personal secretary of Pope Benedict XVI, who in 2016 visited the Schumacher house and in 2018 gave details of that meeting. “I sat in front of him, I touched him with both hands and I looked at him. His face, as we all know, is the typical face of Michael Schumacher; it has only become a bit more stuffed, “Gänswein said in an interview with Bunte magazine.