FIA president tells Formula One fans to respect Michael Schumacher's privacy

  • Jack Figg
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President of governing body FIA Jean Todt has urged the world to leave Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher "in peace", following his tragic 2013 skiing accident.

In late December 2013, while skiing in the French Alps with his son Mick, Schumacher fell and hit his head on a rock and sustained serious head injuries, despite wearing a ski-helmet, something that physicians predicted saved his life.

Schumacher was airlifted to hospital and underwent two surgical interventions, but the years following have given the public no clue on the condition of the seven-time world champion, as Schumacher’s family have opted to keep matters private.

FIA president Todt, formerly Schumacher's Ferrari team boss, is still a close family friend, and spoke to the Argentine daily La Nacion about his relationship with the F1 legend's family.

"He is surrounded by his family and relatives,” Todt said. "I feel blessed to have frequent access, but his health is a private matter and I think it's time for us to let Michael live his life in peace. I repeat, it's time for us to let Michael live his life in peace.”

As Schumacher’s condition is surrounded with mystery, his manager Sabrine Kehm said it was a private matter, however, his family were grateful for the support.

“What can be said is that the family really appreciates the empathy of the fans,” Hehm said. “The people really do see and understand (his health situation) is not to be shared in the public eye.”

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Schumacher's wife Corinna Betsch has given only one statement since the incident, which read: “The decision to protect his privacy from the public has been taken in Michael's interest.

“We have made it very clear that something serious has happened.”

Schumacher had retired from racing in 2012 as a seven-time world champion competing for Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and finally Mercedes.

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