Piero Ferrari, the vice chairman of Ferrari, has reminded everyone that Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is very much alive, even though the seven-time World Champion ‘cannot communicate’.
Fervent interest in seven-time world champion Schumacher’s condition has re-emerged in recent weeks with the release of the Netflix documentary charting his remarkable rise to the top of the sport, as well as aspects of the 52-year-old’s family life.
Notably, Schumacher’s wife Corinna says in the film that she “misses” her husband every day.
“Michael is here. Different, but he’s here and that gives us strength, I find,” Corinna says.
“I think that he is simply very strong mentally. Extremely strong. He still shows me how strong he is every day.”
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And whilst speaking at a recent award ceremony in Rome, Piero Ferrari shared some memories of the German prior to his skiing accident in 2013.
“I had the pleasure of having Schumacher as a guest at home and drinking a bottle of red wine together: he really enjoyed having these moments of intimacy and tranquility,” said Ferrari.
“He was a simple, clear, precise person, a very linear personality.”
On Schumacher’s current condition, Ferrari added: “I’m sorry we talk about him today as if he were dead: he’s not dead, he’s there but he can’t communicate.”
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During the event in the Italian Capital, Ferrari also spoke about his team’s current drivers Charles Le Clerc and Carlos Sainz.
“Charles Leclerc? My father would certainly have liked him. The comparison between past and present riders is difficult,” he said.
“Gilles Villeneuve was pure instinct, Charles is very different: he is an intelligent driver, an extremely gifted boy from all points of view, with extraordinary reflexes, great concentration.
“Carlos Sainz is also proving to be a solid and fast young man. We have a good team, for the future everything will change, the cards will reshuffle and we must remember that there are many technical limits set by the regulation and that the next year will be all new.”
Sainz finished third in last Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix, with his teammate Le Clerc finishing 15th.
Ferrari also said that his team was helping fellow F1 competitors Haas to manage the development of Schumacher’s son, Mick, who is in his debut season in motor-racing’s elite championship.
“His team (Haas) has made the choice not to spend in 2021 so they are using a car that was already not good in 2020,” he said.
“But they are spending for 2022 and we at Ferrari are also helping Haas. For his second year, we hope to give Schumacher a car with which he can demonstrate his qualities.”