F1 Winter Break
Silent vigil in red as Schumacher greets his 45th birthday in a coma
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Jan 2014   |  9:39 am GMT  |  104 comments

Michael Schumacher today greets his 45th birthday coupled to a life support machine at the CHU Hospital in Grenoble.

Outside the hospital a silent vigil has been organised by Ferrari, the team with whom he won 72 Grands Prix and 5 world championships. Beginning at 11am local time, fans and club members attending the vigil are being encouraged to dress in red and bring flags.

The vigil will bring together Ferrari club members from France and Italy in particular.

Ferrari’s Renato Bisignani told the BBC that the vigil would be “a sign of our closeness to Michael Schumacher, done in a very respectful way”

He added: “This is all about our fans and we will make sure we remain sensitive at this difficult time for Michael Schumacher.”

Messages of support are being posted all the time by fans and former colleagues on social media.

Schumacher is now coming up to 120 hours after sustaining his head injury in a skiing accident on Sunday morning. Medical experts commenting in the media this week have indicated that normally in this kind of accident, 96 hours after the impact is the crucial milestone to pass through to reduce the threat of danger to life. After that the threat to life normally reduces significantly.

But the bulletins from the hospital this week have insisted that caution is required. A second operation was necessary on Monday night to reduce the pressure in his brain and although Schumacher is putting up a dogged fight, he remains “stable but critical” in the eyes of the doctors treating him. Schumacher’s manager, former journalist Sabine Kehm, has said that there will only be updates when there is something new to report.

Once they are satisfied that the risk to life has reduced, the next thing to look out for is doctors deciding to lessen the sedation keeping him in a coma, to bring him out of it. After that they will hope that at some point in the next two weeks he will wake up and they will then be able to monitor his brain for signs of damage.

Further problems arise if the patient does not wake up within three weeks, according to medical experts monitoring the case.

A statement issued by Schumacher’s family said: “We all know he is a fighter and will not give up.”

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Holding my breath like everyone else.

I wish Michael's family hope and strength.

Forza Schumi


Very nice touch by Ferrari.

It must be very close now that doctors decide to lower the sedatives and see if he comes out if the coma.


Thank you for the informed information James.


Will be wearing red for MSC today.

Hoping that he will choose to wear red a year from now to celebrate a most poignant birthday of his life.

Forza Michael!


Unfortunately this accident reminds the Schumi fans all too well of his career especially 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006 and every wet race.

And as usual, Schumi fought till the last drop for in the Schumi school of hard knocks, defeat is not an option.

Yes happy birthday to the Red Baron and we pray our Schumi gets granted the best birthday present by pulling through this.

Nice gesture by Ferrari for this vigil, just goes to show once bring in the the converted trophies to Maranello, you will never be forgotten.


Thanks to all the medical staff for all their genius work.


Happy Birthday Michael!


Happy 45th birthday Michael Schumacher! Best wishes to all the Schumacher family today. We're all thinking of you.


A nice gesture by Ferrari.

Many happy returns Michael and get well soon Michael.


Happy Birthday Michael. Best wishes for the future.


There is hope for Michael if past incidents are any indicator. In the past few years a few elite alpine ski racers (Daniel Albrecht, Hans Grugger included), survived major head traumas in horrific high speed crashes with subsequent comas, and survived and went on to live normal lives. Get well soon Michael.

"Schumacher didn't go as fast as they did so he has a good chance. Athletes have the strength to overcome such bad times." -Guenter Hujara, Men's Alpine Skiing World Cup Director



Get well, Michael! It's your birthday, but such a present will be to all of us.


Happy birthday Michael. Wishing you a quick and full recovery

Forza Schumi


Happy Birthday and get well Michael.

You'll forever be a Ferrari pilot.


Happy Birthday Michael! May you have many more.


i must say a huge well done to james for staying away from sensitive statements.
shame onto ferrari trying to capitalise on schumacher's misfortune. maximum respect to mercedes for respecting schumacher and his family at such a nervous time.
i feel more affection for schumacher while watching him drive the mercedes than i do watching him in ferrari colours.


relax. Ferrari have a special relationship with Michael and vice versa.

don't see it too negative. give them a break.

appreciate your wishing and let's sit tight meanwhile


Are you for real?

My God, I'm appalled that Mercedes haven't done something to show their support. It says everything that Lauda's Mercedes, which effectively sacked him in 2012, are this cold clinical organisation.

Mercedes is a business, Ferrari a passion, go figure!


"My God, I’m appalled that Mercedes haven’t done something to show their support".

How do you know what Mercedes are doing or not doing to support Michael and his family at this time? You are assuming, because Mercedes are being quiet and respectful, that they are doing nothing. I am sure, knowing that Michael has many friends in Mercedes, that they are doing all they can to support him at this time and will continue to support him throughout his recovery. They are just not advertising it.



I think this is very close to being a very tasteless marketing campaign from Ferrari/Marlboro.

They really rammed home the point with the whole 'wear red' thing.

Happy Birthday champ, get well soon.


Ferrari and fans honour their Champion at his time of need. They don't need to "market" anything.


oh somebody understands!


Michael will always have a home in the Ferrari (team and fans) heart. And this gesture shows that. And again, nothing taken from Mercedes.



since schumacher retired from f1 he has only ever worn mercedes colours.


is that not because schumacher is the biggest name they can use to sell their brand?


Yup, but he is still the adopted son of maranello. They always speak of him highly.


Respectfully disagree. I think it's a way for his admirers worldwide to connect. Nobody said to wear prancing horse gear.

Don't be such a cynic.


Call me an old cynic, and I am, but if this was truly a showing of support for Michael then why RED, why not silver, or any colour? Surely the support is in turning up and nothing to do with the colour of your outfit.

Either deliberately or accidentally, you pick, Ferrari has turned this into a publicity stunt.


i don't think you understood me. Throughout out the week, journalist wrote about schumacher's love for speed and his willingness to take risks, indicating that his accident was a result of his love for speed and willingness to take risks. this I felt was insensitive as it only stresses out schumacher's close relatives. now look at what James has written above and compare it to what other reporters have written on the same subject and you'll understand me better.

mercedes are smart enough to allow the schumachers space to deal with their difficulties without an attempt to capitalise on marketing of their brand. ferrari on the other hand have gone all out to claim the moment for their own. that's disgusting in my view.


dear herman, i am so sorry i do not know what you don't know nor do i know all you know until you tell me. but I would like to point out to you that in 2000 i baught a brand new car in red and had after market allows powder coated white because ferrari had white wings at the time. i have complete understanding of the passion of ferrari and i feel the passion but I can tell you again that it is distasteful to call on fans to wear red because i great has suffered life threatening injuries in a skiing accident while his close relatives are still trying to get to grips with how and why such a tragedy could land in their mist.

all the teams and media are looking out for sensational stories to promote their brands with but to directly call on fans to promote thrive brand because of what schumacher suffered is uncalled for. nothing wrong wrong with bringing fans together in support of schumacher. i have great admiration for schumacher and ferrari but i have also had the experience of trying to pieces things together when by bother was in coma follow are car accident in which he was thrown out and banged his head on a rock. i don't know if you know how that feels but i can tell you that it doesn't head help when people try to pu blame on him and try to take advantage of the situation.


Dear Aveli,

You may be right in your conclusions but your comments reflect the fact that you don't know what it means to be part of Ferrari. This is the way Ferrari fans show their solidarity in difficult times. Ask any seasoned Ferrari fan about their favourite drivers and they will immediately mention Gilles Villeneuve and Niki Lauda (apart from Schumacher). Why? Because they are grateful for what they've done: Gilles drove with passion and gave his life for Ferrari, Niki was close to die as well and remained in good terms with the fans and with Montezemolo (unfortunately not so much with Enzo - quite a difficult character). Ferrari fans are extremely grateful to Michael, and this is one way of how to express their solidarity. Before making certain judgements, first try to understand what it means to be a Ferrari fan/supporter. Thanks.


he is still signed up to mercedes.


but he will always be a Ferrari driver 😉


but happier in mercedes colours.


john z, i don't know if you understand any of those words you used to address me but i can assure you that schumacher smiled a lot more affectionately in those two years he spent with mercedes than he did all the time he was at ferrari. he even refused to speak with the British media while he drove for ferrari. Who should now be addressed by those insulting words.

if you don't understand i am so sorry but i cannot teach you any more than i have tried to. calling fans to wear red because schumacher is in coma is out of order, big time!


Now you are just being petty and stupid. You are a fool if you believe 2010-2012 were the happiest years of Schumacher's F1 career. He is under contract with Mercedes, I don't disagree. But he is the most successful F1 pilot ever and the majority of that success came at Ferrari. The two are forever linked. No one ever gets nostalgic about Michael Jordan's time as a Washington Wizards player, it's Jordan as a Chicago Bull. Mercedes & Ferrari both have shown their support here. You're way out of line to suggest Ferrari are doing it to sell cars. Ferrari love Schumacher and they want him to pull through. Stop trying to stir the pot by taking shots at Ferrari.


Happy Birthday Schumi!!

I hope you get well soon!

Also very respectful of Ferrari to celebrate his birthday like this.. it shows how they still highly appreciate him, and that for all his fans he is still "THE Ferrari man"; even-though he drove for Mercedes the last 3 years.


Best wishes to MSC and his family and to everyone for supporting him in such a hard time. There is a clear sign of nostalgy and how Ferrari miss him as an embodiment of their supreme greatness.

Get well soon Michael to see how much support and positive is pour to your address in these times.


What this accident makes clear to me is that Ferrari is the true home of Michael Schumacher.

Mercedes seems to be a bit clueless right now. Okay, they have their support messages on the social media but so do the others. Who is speaking for Mercedes now? There's no clear leadership for events like this.

Say what you want about Monte but he and Ferrari show genuine support. Both in words & actions. I bet a pasta dish is waiting for Schumi if he comes back to this world …


I have to agree, it's a little convenient for Ferrari to start telling everyone to 'wear red' Sure he means a lot to the team and im sure they genuinely empathise with his position, but it is marketing pure and simple.

I dont think Mercedes need to make a big song and dance about things for people in the organisation whom care about Michael, to feel equally sad/empathetic about the incident. Why would they feel the need to parade their brand all over a sensitive issue?

Michael donated millions, nay tens of millions to charity, but he never made a song and dance about it and slap 'brand Scumacher' all over it. It doesn't mean he was any less caring in what he did.


spot on jim, some people are just too stuck in their ways to understand empathy.


Sorry Jim but that's not quite the truth .

It was well known that MSC was the largest donator to the 2004 tsunami fund with $10,000,000 donation . Fair play but the media knew about it too. If he is known to make contributions and we know about them, it's because the media has been told. Whether that is a Schumacher decision or Willy Weber, I don't know.

Senna also gave millions to charity but it was only discovered after his death.


He is reportedly one of the biggest if not the biggest celebrity donor to the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation is headed by the former US President Bill Clinton, and does a lot for eradicating disease and poverty in Africa,South America and Asia.


I have had dealings with a trust Schumacher funds to the tune of €1m per year for destitute children. That is not spoken about, hardly anyone knows he is behind it.


Agree, different strokes for different folks. Some cultures wear their hearts on their sleeves (tifosi) and others- no less passionate keep their personal feelings more to themselves.

For some to suggest Mercedes is less empathetic towards MS is ridiculous. They just don't make a personal event out of it.


One thing I have always read and many have commented on is Schumacher's loyalty to close friends and his family.

Rosetta (?) his "second" mother at the restaurant in Maranello will have his favourite meal waiting for him not Ingrid the canteen lady at the Stuttgart works!

Shame on you Mercedes, employed him for your own advertising gains then Lauda called time on his career.

They have seriously under-estimated this. Whilst a driver, he was known around the world but mostly by F1 fans.

This accident has brought him into the sphere of non F1 fans, who empathize with both the injured man and especially his family.

Everyone is saying Forza Schumacher. Forza means strength in Italian.

Not once have I seen anywhere, Starke Schumacher, which is strength in German.


of course, every one will remember him in Red.

not in silver.

Schumacher was Ferrari and Ferrari was Schumacher


Thanks James, I knew it was close. Have an Aunt called Rosetta in Rome, but knew something wasn't right


I agree wholeheartedly!


ferraris behaviour makes it clear to me that all they care about is their brand and don't care much about the feelings of schumacher's close relatives. I remember schumacher refusing to talk to martin brandle after brandle accused him of willing to put his brother ralf into the wall in order to win a race. schumacher cares very much for his close relatives more than anything, willing to for go his brand promotion to protect the image of his close relatives so he will be more likely to side with mercedes who are currently allowing the family to cope with the difficult position in which they are in now rather than act like Ferrari.

schumacher refused to return to ferrari after massa's unfortunate crashe but returned with mercedes who took him to f1 in the first place. look at schumacher's picture at the top of this page and you'll notice that he's in mercedes' colours.

looks like monty's had more whiskey than he has had pasta.


Looks like he's in red to me.


I won't correct all your xenophobic errors but

1) he may be on this site in Mercedes colours but thats because it was the most recent uniform he has worn.

If you watch any of the news bulletins, he is shown winning in a Ferrari!

2) He didn't refuse to return for Massa, he had actually broken his neck in a motor cycle accident and doctors said his return was too early to risk.

3) Schumachers family has been overwhelmed by Ferrari's support, they have actually said that!

Lastly, if you can get off your hate filled podium to actually browse the net, check out Mercedes F1 as opposed to Ferrari's website and tell me who shows more support. Bearing in mind that Schumacher last drove for Mercedes. Man there are some small minded people.


for the record, i do not hate ferrari nor have i said anything insulting or disrespectful about ferrari. name calling is insulting, like telling people they are small minded. i didn't know that was allowed on this site.


small minded? are you boasting that you have bigger body parts than other?

am glad schumacher is out of coma! for me this is the time to make a song and dance about it all.

sorry our opinions differ but it's how you use it that matters


Ridiculous. Ferrari are doing it because Schumacher is a huge part of thier history and part of their renaissance in the late 90's/early 2000's. People do not remember Schumacher, the German, as a Mercedes driver, but instead the adopted son of the Italian team and the tifosi.


asking people to wear red has nothing to do with support for schumacher but everything to do with brand ferrari.

this is a good time to rejoice and let michael see, hear, smell and taste the support now that he is out of coma.


+1 amen!


Forza Schumi ! We are praying for you !

- Zombie, Maryland, USA


Today I share my 34th birthday with my hero Michael Schumacher.

I have decided to postpone my celebrations until Michael pulls through.

So Come on Schumi pull off another victory i'll be waiting at the finishing line raising a glass in the air.

Happy Birthday Michael

Thinking of you and your family.


Keep feighting champ!



Thoughts are with him and his family as always.

Forza Michael. I hope this becomes another part of his life that inspires millions around the world...Keep fighting!


Our thoughts are with you, Schumi. Get well soon!

And a very nice gesture from Ferrari - they indeed are one great family!


Happy birthday MSc. We pray for your speedy recovery... DS


A fighters trial.. he will come out in flying colors... go Schumacher..


I don't think you can compare one crash to another. At ski races athlets are mentally prepared for a crash and they are trained how to react.

If Schumi just started to get up speed again a sudden crash against a not visible rock may have got him unprepared. One ski not loosing may have made things even worse.

At handball the then world best player Jo Deckarm collided with another player and fell to ground head first. 191 days of coma till he was awake again, had to learn speaking and a lot more again and even after decades he is still recovering.

And this was just running and falling. Trautmann as a goalie continued playing with a broken neck, not knowing he had one. I really don't think that head injuries are in any way predictable or comparable.

A girl in my class only sneezed and got bleedings in her head. After two days with headaches she was brought to hospital with no MRT or CT there. And it was just luck that her sister remembered that she did some heavy sneezes.


Happy 45th birthday Michael! Speedy recovery from this injury too. Get well soon as possible.


What an interesting move by Ferrari. Genuine diplomacy or promotion? Perhaps a bit of both. In a way that rather sums up parts of Michael's career. Come on maestro, Lauda did it so you can too, get back to a race track. Forza!


It's genuine affection. Unless you're cynical.


Happy Birthday Michael #legend


In times like these when you think multi-billion dollar companies have no soul, Ferrari proves us wrong yet again. Their heart-warming gesture by arranging a vigil, and today's press statement that "Michael will forever remain a part of Ferrari family. And Ferrari's heart beats for Michael" goes to show why Ferrari is very,very special.

They stood behind Massa after his injury. And despite his stellar failures for 3 long years, Ferrari pledged their support to Massa and nursed him as he gained strength.

Its been nearly 5 years since Michael left Scuderia. And almost 7 years since he last raced for them. But yet Ferrari's undying loyalty and support for their former driver proves why Ferrari will forever remain no.1 in the hearts of Tifosi. When Michael recovers, and i'm sure he will, i hope he rejoins his beloved Ferrari once again. Forza Schumi and Forza Ferrari !


I am not a Ferrari fan, but hats off to the Scuderia for this. I cannot see anything cynical behind it, they did what the Tifosi felt was right.

Congratulations to all the Ferrari fans for supporting such an action, and best wishes for Schumi, his recovery will be his 92nd victory.


There are always two ways to look at something like this, but the charitable read on it is to say that they co-ordinated a show of solidarity and an outpouring of support for their former champion. Why not?

Ferrari is emotion. The two are synonymous


nothing wrong with showing support for schumacher but it's out of order to ask people to wear red.


plus one, well said




Happy Birthday Michael!

Get well quickly.

Valentino from montreal

Happy Birthday Michael , we love you ...


Happy 45th B-day Michael! Wishing you speedy recovery and getting your 92nd win - the most important win in your career!


Still today it seems absurd, like it could not have happened to him. It is really sad.


It is a lesson to all of us, make the most of life because you never know what is around the corner


was that not schumacher was doing? the secret is knowing when to give it all and when to hold back.


macca man, you wouldn't know what the secret is if it hit you on your right cornea.
why would you want to be so insulting to someone who you don't know and who had made no personal references to you? i know that those reports of him being out of coma were rejected by his family and doctors. i reacted to it because that's what i and millions of people around the world want to hear.


The secret Aveli is to know when to log off and shut your trap. Schumacher is in a coma fighting for his life and you're jabbering on about the sincerity of Ferrari's support. And stop suggesting that he is no longer in a coma. The doctors have not made that statement and they know a hell of a lot more than you do.


philosophical JA!. can't be more correct.

indeed a lesson.


Cmon Schumi. You can do it. Happy 45th.


Best wishes to Michael and his family, our thoughts are will you all at this difficult time.

Gods speed for a speedy and complete recovery.

Best wishes

Mike P and family.


Happy Birthday to the greatest. Ferrari remember who dragged them out of the weeds.


Hope Michael comes through this and is soon back to full health! Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!


You always did suit red the best...

Happy Birthday Schumi!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep up the fight!


Happy Birthday Michael Schumacher!

We all know that you are one of the strongest fighter of all. God bless you for a speedy recovery!


Happy birthday Michael.



Happy Birthday !!! Forza Schumi !!! Get well soon Bambino D' Oro!


Happy birthday Michael. Fingers crossed for you and your family, I hope you have a speedy and full recovery, if only to see how much you mean to the world at large. Also kudos to the Ferrari club, what a touching gesture.


Suhumi 92!!! Come on!!


one more fight buddy...one more.


The last time we witnessed truly great racing was with Michael Schumacher and Ferrari...

Since then, I've only seen flashes of skill from Hamilton and Alonso...

Everything else is just totally forgetable...

Thanks for the ride Michael...


(Thank you for this forum James.)

A very sad time for the Schumacher family and our thoughts are with all of you.

My family sends our best wishes to Michael, Corinna, Gina-Maria & Mick. Find your strength in each other - and keep your faith for a speedy recovery for this incredibly strong and resilient man.

- Tim & Jayne Stanfield

Kelowna - British Columbia, Canada


Must be such a sad time for you, James. I know you wrote that book on Michael, so I'm guessing you got to know him really well. Thoughts and prayers are with you and his family and friends.


When Senna had his accident, I was shocked and saddened- when I heard the news about Michael, I literally felt ill. I'm a few yrs younger than him and always felt a kinship and deep respect for him and all he has accomplished. Sure he is controversial but all greats are. Yet He has also always struck me as an affable guy that would be privilege to call a friend and share the odd late night cigar!

In terms of a fitting tribute for fans, Ferrari and Merc should have joined together to pay tribute to Michael - ie -wear red and/or silver. Rushing to do it alone does more damage to Ferraris reputation.

No matter the team color, we are all united in wishing Michael a full recovery.


Just seen this on the telegraph website. Unconfirmed it seems but a great sign. Win 92 in sight!




All the best for your birthday on 3/1/2014. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery.


I appreciate the information you are continuing to provide on Michael's progress. Thankyou


great news! I suspected the family had seen him out of coma when they started saying he is a fighter all of a sudden.


James, I just noticed you posted a screen shot of Tweets from Rubens and Felipe.

Perhaps in the future you'll consider simply embedding the actual tweets themselves into the body of your blog posts (using the code Twitter makes conveniently available w/ each tweet's 'details') so that those of us who use the service could "favorite" and "retweet" the messages from directly w/in your blog, w/o having to go off-site and manually search for that which you've taken a screencap of... Please?


No update for quite awhile. Thats probably not positive

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