F1 Winter Break
Overwhelming support from around the world for Michael Schumacher
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Dec 2013   |  4:17 pm GMT  |  75 comments

There has been overwhelming support for seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher from key figures around the world as the German remains in a “critical” condition following a ski accident in France.

On Tuesday morning, doctors at the CHU hospital in Grenoble said that following a second operation, scans show there has been a “slight improvement” in the 44-year-old’s condition.

Former US president Bill Clinton tweeted his support: “Thinking today of Michael Schumacher and grateful for all he’s done w/‪@clintonfdn and for others. My prayers are with him and his family.”

Fellow German and ex-footballer Didi Hamann: “Thoughts with Michael Schumacher and his family. Let’s hope he pulls through. Praying for some good news tomorrow morning for one of the genuine super stars us Germans had in the last 30 years.”

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan said on Twitter: “Forget the Cricket. Everyone’s thoughts should be with Michael Schumacher.”

Former Alpine skiing world champion Luc Alphand said: “I’m stunned. Skiing, for me and a lot of people, is a leisure before anything else. He might have hit a rock with his feet and you don’t need to go fast to hurt yourself.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “Personally, I didn’t know him but I am an admirer of his achievements. We are all shocked that a man who has taken so many risks in his life and got out of every single risk he took, on a simple accident this can happen to him, which can happen to anyone else who is not as gifted on the sporting front. That is very shocking and we wish him well.”

Messages of support have also flooded in from his fellow motor racing contemporaries.

Schumacher’s former rival David Coulthard wrote in his Telegraph column: “The awful thing is that so often it takes something like this before we say what we truly feel about someone.”

McLaren’s Jenson Button tweeted: “My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time. Michael more than anyone has the strength to pull through this.”

Schumacher’s former team-mate Felipe Massa added on Twitter: “”I’m praying for God to protect you, brother!”

Double world champion Fernando Alonso tweeted: “Get well soon Michael! Hope to hear some positive news very soon! #strongman.”

Schumacher’s former Benetton team-mate Martin Brundle added on Twitter: “Come on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it.”

Eddie Jordan, Schumacher’s former team boss at Jordan, told the BBC: “If you were going to look for someone to take on the fight, whether it be sporting or in life, Michael is someone you would want on your team.”

Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde on Twitter: “I am happy to hear some positive news about Schumacher. Keep fighting! ‪#SchumiGetWellSoon ‪#KeepfightingSchumacher”

Four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti tweeted: “My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher and his family. If anyone can pull through this it’s him.”

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The David Coulthard article was not only a brilliant read but man, it got my eyes watery.

Please keep fighting Michael. Forever your fan.


Just read the article, and I agree entirely. I was never a big fan, but he defined and dominated a decade in F1.

To offer a little hope, my father had a motorcycle accident in the 70's with similar results. The 1970's tech open face helmet split open when he hit the wall. He suffered a fractured skull and was in a coma for 10 days.

Thankfully, he made a full recovery, and is still healthy today, enjoying his retirement.

Hopefully Michael will make a similar recovery. After surviving all the risks inherent in F1, it would be very sad if his life was cut short by an unlucky, low speed skiing accident.

As a final thought, I now live in the USA, where many states are 'Darwin States' without a mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists. I hope this will also make a few more people pause for thought about the wisdom of performing dangerous activities like motorcycling and skiing without high grade head protection. Without his helmet, Michael would likely never have reached the hospital alive.

Best of luck, Michael.


It has been 3 days and every time I read or think about Schumacher it brings a tear to my eye. Like no other he transcended a sport and was larger than life. Inshallah (god willing) he pulls through and gets back to full health. It's such a shame that we don't realise what we have until it's gone, hopefully not the case this time...



ps Is Bernie Ecclestone under induced coma?

I didn't hear a word about Michael from the old man...

Adrian Newey Jnr

From what I have read about Bernard, I'm sure if there is anything he could do, he would have already done it totally off the media radar. He can be very generous but hates any kind of attention placed on it. He has his faults, but this is an admirable quality.

Valentino from montreal

Been waiting for positive news before posting a comment …

Michael , from your biggest fan and admirer , please , don’t leave … You’ve been part of most of my life and my family’s too … We love you ..xox


“At the end of the day he had the same rules and the same race marshals as the rest of us. And he destroyed us.”

David Coulthard



Come On Michael.. fight!!!!!!

Its what you are good at.


A terrible thing to happen to anyone. Thoughts go out to the Corina and the girls at this difficult time. #GetWellShumi


MSC, A sportsman who divided opinions throughout his F1 career. It's good to see that the differences have been put aside with everyone wishing him a speedy recovery.

Here's looking forward to more positive news in the coming days and months.


The local church in Islamabad has already announced that they will hold a prayer for Michael this coming weekend due to overwhelming requests from fans who want to pray for the great champion. Despite not being a christian, I along with several of my friends will be at the church to join in the prayer. You have many fans around the world Michael, and lots of us are praying for you and hoping you come through. Your biggest fan from Pakistan !



I was in Mecca when I heard about MSc's incident. I have been his fan for years now and a lot of my childhood memories of F1 are associated with him. I consider him to be my childhood hero! I went to the holy mosque of Mecca and prayed for well being and health of MSc.


Thank you for posting this Karima, I've worshiped Schumi since I was a kid. I cried with him at Suzuka 2000 and when his car broke down there years later when he was fighting with Alonso. I've shared his joys and felt his pains as if they're mine. I feel as if he's part of my family. We love him here in Lahore as well and wish we could get together for him here. I'm praying to Allah all the time for his full and fast recovery. May our Hero be hale and healthy and continue to shine in our lives for years to come. Amin


Very comforting to see people from all cultures and countries supporting Michael Schumacher. Ive yet to see anyone else in F1 who has the global presence and fan following of Michael Schumacher. Lets hope the prayers and support he is receiving globally is something he can see one day.




I'm Brazilian, and I didn't shed a tear for Senna, in part because I don't care much for nationalism, in part because he died instantly, not much suffering for him. But with Schumi, oh god, everytime I think about it my eyes get flooded. And I'm not usually one for celebrity worshipping, I just think he's been (and hopefully will continue to be) not only an extraordinary sportsman, but also a very decent man, a great character, one of the last drivers with a "non-fabricated" personality. Even on the occasions he was mostly criticized, I kinda sided with him, after all he was playing by what was more or less the rules of the time - Senna had done it, Prost too, and those are mighty precedents.

Wish all the best for him.


Yeah,I know,me too.Feel so sad,unbelievably so.I will ask the preacher next Sunday to pray for him.


David Coulthard's article was not only succinct and brilliantly written but it also showed his true qualities as a man.




I think we all understand that there is still a lot of uncertainty ahead, but a this latest bit of positive news is fantastic.

The Coulthard piece frankly took my breath away. That is some of the most intelligent and heartfelt writing on such a subject I have ever read.

And of coure, your blog, James, has continued to be my primary source for factual and respectful coverage of sensitive F1 stories. You are always able to rise above the din.


The positive news is great and thanks, James,for keeping us informed.

Sounds like the DC article would be worth reading, based on the very positive comments above - any chance there is a URL address where folks can find it?


Thanks for the steer. A well balanced article in all respects. Very much appreciated.


Michael, if by some miracle your sleeping mind can read this message then remember the 1998 Hungarian GP. The championship was presumably over when you were behind the 2 blitzering Mclarens. That’s when Ross switched to a 3 stopper to get you ahead of the 2 silver arrows. The pitboard man stuck his neck out and held the ominous board that said "PUSH" ! And who should better understand the meaning of that four letter word than you ? Push you did ! Your target was to open 25 seconds over Mclarens in 19 laps! Almost mission impossible considering how fast the Mclarens were. The Ferrari tank-slapping out of corners, taking the curbs and then some more, you achieved what nobody thought was possible. The fate has thrown you another challenge now, and your fans are holding the "PUSH" sign . And push like you’ve never done before ! If there’s someone who can come out of it, it is you !


I remember that GP so vividly. Nothing can beat it. That was one of the top class ones of Schumi. I always felt lucky to watch that live.


I can only wish that we see a return to days like that where the driver was told to drive on the limit for the whole race. Was a pleasure and an honour watching Schumacher in his element.


True inspiration and a great person! Get better Michael!


Thank you James... Fingers still crossed.


We all got used to F1 with Michael Schumacher in it, when he retired the 1st time we had to get used to F1 without Michael, he is such an iconic figure and one can't ignore his achievements.

I really hope you come out of this Michael, you have certainly inspired me , please get well soon.


schumacher is special to the world!


Nice get well messages for our Schumi. Am guessing the likes of Flavio, Rubens, Brawn, Todt and Byrne will also join the others by issuing well wishes.

The out pouring of support really shows Schumi was one of the best loved people in the paddock for it's without question that Schumi's success was the driving force that gave the sport bigger appeal in various markets such as Germany.

Am feeling a little bit more relaxed after the news of the little improvement in the condition, this can only mean we're on the right path.

Actually come to think of it, the Schumi bothers have had a good record of pulling through tragedies e.g. Schumi at Silverstone 1998 and Ralf at US 2006.

So yeah, see you in 2014 bro and wishing you many happy years ahead.



hmm, sadly, I wouldn't count on Rubens. He's more or less the opposite of Massa: never realized / admitted what a privilege it was to be team mate of one of the greatest not only in F1, but in sports in general. He'll probably say something, but I doubt he'll really mean it. Very sad.


You seem to be confusing someone who is bitter at the way his career went with a sociopath who has no feelings. Plenty of people are bitter at how things have gone in life, that doesnt make them a bad person automatically. Rubens may be bitter towards Michael but he's never done anything that has made me think he is not genuine. Naive and unhappy maybe.

Rubens tweet was one of the earliest I heard of so I very much doubt the first thing he thought was "Oh i better say something or I'll get the sack again". If he said nothing you'd moan and when he says something you moan. You've clearly made up your mind.


Oh, I'm sure he has feelings. I also know I'm not moaning. But please, feel free to think otherwise, and "moan" all by yourself.


@spectreman - "What matters in life is to remember the good laughs and good times. We are praying for you."

Rubens put that on his instagram only a few hours after the accident. Rubens is a decent man.


Are you aware that Mr. Barrichello is a "reporter" for Rede Globo, which broadcasts F1 in Brazil? Hadn't he said something his job would be at risk. Also, compare his reaction to Massa's. Which one do you think sounds more genuine? And bear in mind that both are from São Paulo, both are from Italian families, i.e., pretty much the same cultural milieu. And more: one is loved by Ferrari (and many fans), the other basically got a "good riddance" note when he left. I don't even have to say who's who in this case.


It´s been reported that Ross Brawn went to the hospital on Monday. I think I read on the BBC or Autosport.

And also Mercedes and Ferrari made statements wishing him a speedy recovery


@ Anne

Oh I see, cheers and a happy new year.


Michael the world is praying for you. Regardless of whether its North America, Asia, Europe or Africa you have fans all over the continents who have been and will continue to pray for you. You are the greatest F1 champion in history but more importantly you are a world class human being, humanitarian, father, brother, son, husband and friend and I hope you get to hear about the amount of love people have for you especially in the sub continent. Get well soon champ.


Come on Michael!!


The tribute by DC, a competitor not always on the same page as MS in battle shows not only what kind of a person MS is, but also confirms my great respect for both men as humans.

Wonderful piece!

AS for James Allen F1, it is by far THE best source for unbiased reporting and information and I'm grateful the site exists. to give me my F1 fix. Thanks to the whole team.

One thing we can all agree on, get well quickly Schumi!


Michael always strictly guarded his private life. I suspect, much like Senna, his philanthropic side has been kept largely hidden. For me, one of the defining moments of his character was when he donated more to the Tsunami appear than the entire Manchester Utd team.

I hope for a speedy recovery for him and his family.


@Matt W

I live in Brazil and I can tell you Senna's philantropy was not hidden. Many people have a highly idealized vision of Senna. I'm sorry to say this, but IMNSHO, to compare Schumacher to Senna is an insult to the former, in terms of character at least. I could say more, but this is neither the time or place, so I'll just keep wishing the best recovery to one of my all time favourites, the one that rekindled my love for F1 after the likes of Lauda, Piquet (very misunderstood driver, cuz the Brazilian press - due to politics, family ties, etc. - simply never liked him, way back before his time in F1), and Prost.

Get well soon Michael, if you ever read this hope it's a comfort for you to know that at least some people in Brazil don't fall for nationalist BS and always had a lot of love for you!


edit: I mean after Lauda, Piquet and Prost retired, I'm not suggesting those were better drivers than Michael. Different times, hard to compare, but I tend to think Schumi was THE greatest, period.


I honestly hope that Michael comes back and in a very good health. It is so unfortunate that it has to take something like for people to think and pray to God.


glad to hear about small improvement but come on Schumi you can do better than that, stick on a new set of tyres, turn up the revs and fight.

please more good news soon.


I've been feeling sick since the first time I read about his accident. I speak as a fan for whom Michael was an inspiration; someone who grew up seeing his rise from a humble background to his tremendous achievements in the face of many adversities. This event is an unpleasant shock that shows life is fickle and fate is cruel to bring down any man indiscriminately.

Above all I think if this is what I feel, what must those who are closest to him and those whose life he touched be going through right now? James himself has a very close association with Michael and I cannot imagine what he's feeling right now. Lets keep not only Michael, but all those around him in our thoughts and wish things change for the better with the turn of the year.


i think it's wrong of all journalist to claim that schumacher suffered the accident because of his love for speed.

his love of speed brought him all the success he has had and non of those who reported on his accident witnessed it so have no idea about how it happened so should not make up stories to upset his close relatives. they should keep the story to the facts only.


Thanks James. Your blog is what I keep cominh back to every hour. Please keep us updated on the legend's progress. Get well soon Michael.


Speedy recovery Schumi, my thoughts are with you.


Tonight I was (obviously) at a new years eve party. Like everyone, ringing in the new year.

Not everyone is an avid F1 fan like most of us here. A friend picked up a bottle of champagne, shaking and spraying it podium celebration style while exclaiming "Schumacher! Schumacher!" After a quick conversation I found he'd never watched a race on TV and had no idea about schumis accident.

This to me, shows what Michael has acheived. Around the world "racing car driver" triggers a response "michael schumacher" no matter what your motorsport knowledge. Hell, my phone even auto corrects it!

Schumacher has done for F1 what Mcrae did for rally, what Federer has done for tennis and what armstrong had done for steroids. I grew up knowing of schumi and I had no interest in cars or racing at all when I was younger.

Usually we don't realize what we have until it's gone. But heres hoping there's a few more chapters yet to come in the Michael Schumacher biography. Get well soon mate!


i was saddened to read that schumachers family are stressed by reports of schumacher loving speed and taking risks caused the accident. all those who made such reports should publicly appologise to schumachers family.

is he likely to take risks while skying with his son?


Schumacher was the face of F1. Many people did not know (or still do not know) F1 in 2000s, but they knew one guy: Schumacher. He was more popular than F1 itself. And that says a lot!


I hope Schumacher recovers from his injuries, and when/if he recovers that he is still is the same person that he was before the accident. We cannot afford to lose a true champion so early, so soon, so I hope he recovers, and returns to normal life as the normal Michael Schumacher.


Michael is my favourite driver of all time. I screamed when he won the drivers championship for ferrari at Suzuka; I watched the years before and his efforts were 110% and he was so unlucky not have have won earlier. His battles with Mika, Damon, Jaques, david, kimi, Juan, Fernando et al were magnificent. He was always there, sometimes in inferior machines and just used to drag the car round the track by the skin of its teeth. There was something magical about him behind the wheel hunting other drivers down or defending aggressively. I'm heartbroken about his accident and feel for his family. The great man can't go out like this. God speed Schumi, we love you man!


All the best Michael! You really have been a part of my life since 1995 and given me many hours of enjoyment through racing.


This is Kimi's message taken from Motorsport.com. "Kimi Raikkonen: "God bless you Michael. Be strong!!!'"

Daniel Aquilina

Come on Michael, keep hanging in there champ this is for Championship #8.


Michael said something like this in an interview with Kai Ebel:

I live believing in fate. I can not not doing things because something might happen. If somethings bad happens it is perhaps fate.

'Ich verfahre nach dem Schicksalsprinzip. Ich kann nicht Dinge nicht tun, weil etwas dabei passieren kann. Wenn etwas passiert, dann ist es vielleicht Schicksal.'

Michael also said that all the things he did -parachuting, riding, motorbiking,... - he was approaching from the safe side - learning to know the limits.


I hated him at first for all the clichés about him… But he won me over with his hard work at Ferrari, his pursuit of winning, his determination, and then his utter dominance of the sport for so many years. My thoughts and prayers are with Michael Schumacher and his family.


Hope and pray Schumi will make it !


... day 3 and stable at the moment. keep on fighting Michael! for yourself, your family, your friends, your charities, your millions of fans.

Happy New Year to everyone in the F1 community and best wishes to the countless patients and families in similar situations around the world.


I've never supported Schumacher as a driver (never forgave him for the crash with Hill), but I have huge respect for his achievements both on and off the track. It's times like this when rivalries must be put aside, there are far bigger priorities. It's heartwarming to see so much support for Michael, not just from his fans and admirers, but from everybody who appreciates his fighting spirit. Let's all hope for a positive outcome to all of this.


I have tried to take positives from the fact Michael's condition has now stabilised, but I was concerned today by a comment from Gary Hartstein that the severity of Michael's condition is far worse than occurred to Massa in 09 or Hakkinen in 95.

I can only pray for a miracle that Michael fully recovers and pulls through this. God bless you Michael.


James, many of us from distant places in the world appreciate the up-to-date posts you are supplying regarding Michael's progress.

I have always liked Michael's work on the track for his team but I have also admired his work for others, less fortunate, off the track.

God speed for a full recovery for Michael.


Come on Michael, let's do this race like Brazil 2006. We know you can.

DC article makes my eyes teary.He seems like a good guy and certainly earned more respect that he deserves.


read in news:

Schumi was with some frieds and their kids. He was skiing last to help not experienced drivers if necessary. A 14 year old girl fell and he helped her. While starting to continue skiing he seem to have overlooked a rock hidden in fresh snow. One of his rented skis was not loosening. This might have made it impossible to control the crash. He was wearing helmet and back protectors.

Hope he fully recovers from this

I remember the day when Jo Deckarm (considered the world best handball player) fell into coma while a match. I was playing Handball myself in a junior team then and i had long discussion with my parents (swimmers) to be allowed to continue playing handball. I hope Michael has more luck than Jo. Jo had big fights to come back into life even he never fully recovered.



"I keep my fingers cossed for Michael!" wrote Robert Kubica on Facebook


Hamilton tweeting his own pictures on skiis and a freaking smile on his face, WTF? I wish I could ban him from F1, pure and simple. But Schumi is such a great guy, never disrespected Barrichello despite the contrary being sadly true, that I'm confident this won't hurt him, one can even hope it will give him even more strenght to keep fighting in the face of adversity, as he always did.


And before someone say it's a different modality, and why should Lewis put his life on hold, well, the first is irrelevant, and the second, no, of course he shouldn't put his life on hold. But life is so much more than tweeter, couldn't he put his tweeting on hold?


"Tweeting" is perfect for Lewis, because Lewis is a twit.

As much as I have hoped that he would grow out of it someday, he regularly confirms it.

It's gone way past doing the things he does, and thinking "That's not cricket." Look at his record, not as a driver, but as a human being. It's not impressive.


Agreed. But I would add not even his driving is that impressive. I'm inclined to think Rosberg will adapt much better to the new cars and won't have much trouble beating his teammate.


What a crappy birthday for Schumi.

Hope he gets the present we know he really wants.


Would be a present for us all, as well.


I thought the Coulthard article was brilliantly written. Hope Schumacher recovers properly. It's frustrating but there's no rush.

Off snowboarding for a week tomorrow myself. Will be buying a helmet!

As an aside, Luc Alphand is not only a ski champion but a motorsports legend in his own right, winning the Dakar Rallye in 2006 and racing in GTs as well as enduro motorcycles.








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