Motorsport: Why Michael Schumacher’s Wife Keeps F1 Legend’s Health Top Secret
In 2013, Michael Schumacher was seriously injured in a skiing accident. Video / AP
Little is known about Michael Schumacher’s health since he suffered a tragic skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013.
A serious brain injury saw the F1 legend placed in a medically induced coma for months and since then only tidbits of information have been released about his condition.
Renowned neurosurgeon Erich Riederer last year said Schumacher was in a ‘vegetative’ state while his former Ferrari boss Jean Todt made a heartwarming update in November, revealing he was visiting his former colleague several times a month at his home in Switzerland.
The main reason for the mystery surrounding Schumacher’s condition is his wife Corinna. She barely spoke to the media about the seven-time F1 world champion and was determined to keep his health battle out of public view.
Why all this mystery?
In a rare public statement from Corinna and the couple’s children, Gina and Mick, around the time of the driver’s 50th birthday, the family said they were following Schumacher’s wish for privacy.
“You can be sure that he is in good hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” the statement said.
“Please understand if we follow Michael’s wishes and keep a subject as sensitive as health, as it always has been, in privacy.”
Corinna cares for Schumacher in Switzerland as he continues his long rehabilitation, staying by his side throughout the terrible ordeal.
Last year, the ex-wife of Schumacher’s brother, Ralf – also a former F1 driver – reportedly praised Corinna for the way she handled everything.
“I take my hat off to her seven times a day,” Cora Brinkmann said in an interview with Gala. “She’s a wonderful woman.”
Schumacher’s love lives with his wife and daughter
Born in 1969, Corinna grew up in Germany and developed a passion for sports – but not necessarily motor racing.
Schumacher bought a ranch in Switzerland in 2005 for her 10th wedding anniversary to Corinna, where she now breeds 40 horses. In 2010, she won the European Western-Style Riding Championship.
It emerged during the week the family had taken their love of animals to another level. Along with her daughter Gina, Corinna is said to have spent $ 4.4 million on land on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where they plan to build stables.
Gina, 24, is an unprofessional rider and equestrian who channeled her indoor Ferrari in 2019 when she fitted her horse with Scuderia gear while competing in a freestyle competition in Italy.
According to local newspaper Diario de Mallorca, the reason for buying land in Mallorca “is to breed and ride around 20 horses on it”.
In 2019, Corinna gave her first interview since the Schumacher crash, saying Mercedes She Magazine Gina would become a rider champion because of her ultra-competitive dad’s influence.
“I don’t forget who I have to thank for this. It would be my husband Michael,” said Corinna, explaining that he encouraged Gina’s love for horses by buying this Swiss ranch 16 years ago.
“When my husband told me that one day Gina would be much better than me, I was not thrilled.”
“What do you mean by that? I work with horses from morning to night, trying to learn everything, âshe told him.
The director points the finger at Corinna
At the end of 2019, Schumacher’s former manager accused Corinna of blocking her attempts to visit the F1 icon because she feared the truth would come out about her state of health.
Schumacher’s longtime manager during his racing days, Willi Weber, said fans of his former client deserved to be kept informed of his condition and pointed the finger at Corinna for denying him access to her friend .
“I know Michael has been hit hard, but unfortunately I don’t know what progress he’s making,” Weber said in a German TV documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Schumacher’s first world title in 1994.
“I’d like to know how he’s doing and shake his hand or stroke his face.”
âBut unfortunately this is rejected by Corinna.
“She’s probably afraid to see what’s going on right away and make the truth public.”
Corinna claimed she was just doing what her husband wanted, telling She Magazine, “Try to understand that we are following Michael’s desire to keep his health a secret.”
Fight to keep Schumacher’s secret
Corinna fought to make sure information about Schumacher’s condition didn’t leak out.
In 2016, the family sued a German magazine after citing a source saying Schumacher could walk “a few steps.” Schumacher’s lawyer Felix Damm told the court “he couldn’t walk” and couldn’t stand without assistance.
Schumacher family spokeswoman Sabine Kehm criticized the report “irresponsible”. âUnfortunately, we are compelled by a recent press report to clarify that the claim that Michael might move again is not true,â she said at the time. “Such speculation is irresponsible because given the severity of his injuries, his privacy is very important to Michael. Unfortunately, it also gives false hope to many involved.”
Heartbreaking letter from the wife
Details of a heartbreaking letter Corinna wrote about the Battle of Schumacher were revealed in 2018.
German musician Sascha Herchenbach composed a new song in honor of Schumacher called Born To Fight, and sent a recording of the song to the family of F1 greats as a gift.
In a moving note to Herchenbach, Corinna said: âI want to sincerely thank you for your message and your lovely gift which will help us through this difficult time.
âIt’s good to receive so many kind wishes and other well-meaning words – which is a great support for our family.
“We all know Michael is a fighter and won’t give up.”
Speaking to German magazine Bunte, Herchenbach said he was “overwhelmed” by Corinna’s response.
âI wasn’t expecting an answer and I was overwhelmed,â he said. âThe letter was handwritten and signed by Corinna on her stationery.
“She wrote that she was very grateful for the gift and that she helped her and her family through this difficult time.”
Message of Hope from Corinna
Ahead of the sixth anniversary of Schumacher’s accident, Corinna sent out a rare message of hope.
As fans prepared to launch a âKeepFightingMichaelâ social media page in late 2019, Corinna reportedly told them, âBig things start with small steps. Many small particles can form a huge mosaic.
“Together you are stronger, and this is exactly how the combined forces of the KeepFighting movement make it easier to encourage others.”