Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna

Michael Schumacher’s family breaks eight-year silence on racing driver’s condition

'Michael is here. Different, but he’s here'

CORINNA Schumacher, wife of seven-times F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, has spoken about her husband’s health for the first time since the 2013 skiing accident that left him with severe head injuries.

Schumacher’s family had, until now, refused to discuss the matter, citing a desire for privacy that has led to persistent speculation as to the former racing driver’s condition. But speaking in an interview conducted as part of forthcoming Netflix documentary Schumacher, Corinna Schumacher said: “Michael is here. Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength, I find.”

“We’re together,” she said. “We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable. And to simply make him feel our family, our bond.”

Michael Schumacher and family

On the subject of the accident that almost claimed her husband’s life on a family holiday in the French Alps, she said: “I have never blamed God for what happened. It was just really bad luck, all the bad luck anyone can have in life.”

Despite having raced in Formula One since the early 1990s and won 92 grands prix throughout his career, Schumacher’s only major injury up until that point had been a broken leg sustained in a crash at Silverstone in 1999.

Having graduated from karting and lower formula racing, Schumacher made his F1 debut racing for Jordan-Ford at Spa in 1991. A period with Benetton would win him his first two driver’s championships, in 1994 and 1995.

His move to Ferrari marked the start of a period of dominance for the German driver and helped turn around the fortunes of a team that had been languishing for some time.

In 1999, Ferrari won its first constructor’s championship since 1983 and, with Schumacher winning the driver’s championship in 2000, the pairing achieved dazzling success for the next four years running, before being knocked-off the top spot by Renault and Fernando Alonso in 2005.

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Schumacher had retired from F1 the year prior to his skiing accident, having left the Mercedes team at the end of the 2012 season.

The upcoming Netflix documentary, which features interviews with his wider family, attempts to paint a more human portrait of Schumacher; a man who could appear prickly at times, so focused was he on success, which he managed to achieve with almost machine-like regularity. He was, as the documentary paints, a man plagued by self-doubt and who acutely felt the pressure to keep winning.

“Of course, I miss Michael every day,” his wife said. “But it’s not just me who misses him. The children, the family, his father, everyone around him. I mean, everybody misses Michael.”

Corinna Schumacher insists that, despite the recent interview, very little is about to change as regards her family’s stance on her husband’s privacy.

“Private is private, as he always said. It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible. Michael always protected us and now we are protecting Michael.”

The documentary, Schumacher, will be released on Netflix on September 15.