Eight years after he was catastrophically injured in a ski accident in the French Alps, Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna has opened up on his health and revealed that the star driver is “here but different”.
Corinna and Michael’s family have been incredibly secretive about the legendary Formula 1 driver’s condition since the 2013 accident, with little known about his near-fatal brain injury or how he is recovering. Now though, Corinna is opening up for the first time in the new Netflix documentary Schumacher, which dives into the driver’s storied career and the tragic accident that changed his life.
“Everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here, different, but here,” Corinna says in the documentary, which is released on 15 September. “He still shows me how strong he is every day.
“We’re together. 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. And no matter what, I will do everything I can. We all will. We’re trying to carry on as a family, the way Michael liked it and still does. And we are getting on with our lives.”
Schumacher is 52 years old now and is recovering at the family’s home on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. His son Mick, who was 14 at the time of the accident, made his Formula 1 debut in 2019 and drives for Haas. Schumacher’s daughter, Gina Maria, is now 24 and has a successful career as a horse rider.
Corinna said that even though the family still spends much of their time together, it’s not the same as it used to be.
“I miss Michael every day,” she said. “But it’s not just me who misses him. It’s the children, the family, his father, everyone around him.”
Despite his years in one of the most dangerous sports in the world, Schumacher escaped major injury throughout his driving career with his only setback being a broken leg from a crash in the British GP in 1999. In the documentary, Corinna revealed her husband’s ominous last words before his accident.
“Shortly before it happened in Meribel he said to me, ‘The snow isn’t optimal. We could fly to Dubai and go skydiving there’,” Corinna said.
“We’d always made it through his races safely. Which is why I was certain he had a few guardian angels that were keeping an eye out for him. I don’t know if it’s just a kind of protective wall that you put up yourself or if it’s because you’re in a way naive but it simply never occurred to me that anything could ever happen to Michael.
“I never blamed God for why this happened now. It [the accident] was just really bad luck, all the bad luck anyone could ever have in their life.”
Prior to the documentary, renowned neurosurgeon Erich Riederer told media that Michael’s condition was bleak.
“I think he’s in a vegetative state, which means he’s awake but not responding,” he told French TV channel TMC. “He is breathing, his heart is beating, he can probably sit up and take baby steps with help, but no more.
“I think that’s the maximum for him. Is there any chance of seeing him like he was before his accident? I really don’t think so.”