Today former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has said that he has “no good news” about Michael Schumacher, the seven time world champion, who suffered severe brain injury in a skiing accident over two years ago.
Schumacher is at home in Gland, Switzerland with round the clock medical attention and since he was returned home after a prolonged period in a coma in hospital in Grenoble, there has been no meaningful update on his condition.
Montezemolo spoke today to journalists in Italy and said, “I have news of him continuously and it is not good. He was a great driver, but a ski accident has ruined him. It’s not true that he was a risk taker on skis, he was always sensible off piste.”
The question, “How is Michael Schumacher, any news?” is by far and away the question I get asked the most by fans and members of the public, even by people who have no interest in F1, but who know I work in the sport.
The answer is always the same – a handful of people know the truth and they are not saying.
The vacuum of information about Schumacher is deliberate on the part of his manager Sabine Kehm and his family. They wish to guard his privacy and reason that if there is no news, then all speculation is no more than that. It is wise for anyone with an interest in Schumacher to follow their lead. In the event that he makes any kind of meaningful recovery no doubt there will be an update. Until then it is safe to assume that he is in broadly the same condition and that any progress is slow at best.
The truth of the matter is that there are really only a handful of people who are close to Schumacher and his family who are in the know; these include FIA president Jean Todt, former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn and 500cc motorbike champion Mick Doohan. Montezemolo, while he was linked with Schumacher professionally for many years at Ferrari, was never anything like as close to him personally as Todt and Brawn, who continue to visit him regularly.
It is clear from the way that Kehm intervenes when fresh rumours arise about Schumacher’s condition, that the champion is in a generally bad way, with no significant improvement in his condition. She recently dismissed rumours that he was now able to walk again as irresponsible and offering false hope.
Today’s intervention from Montezemolo has once again shown how much interest there is in Schumacher and even his greatest detractors feel great sympathy for the fallen champion.
But to draw any conclusions from what’s been said today would be pointless, just as it has been ever since that fateful day in December 2013, when he took an off piste route at Meribel.