Formula1 Michael Schumacher, 10 years after his fatal fall in Meribel: everything that is known

Exactly ten years ago

Formula1 Michael Schumacher, 10 years after his fatal fall in Meribel: everything that is known

Exactly ten years ago. On December 29, 2013, Michael Schumacher goes off-piste skiing in the French Alps of Meribel with his son Mick, falls and the impact of his head against some rocks causes a serious brain injury that will tragically change his life. he. After an apparently banal fall, the seven-time F1 world champion, who on many other occasions had put his life in danger in races, falls into a coma and in the following 48 hours undergoes two operations in the French hospital. from Grenoble.

What happened 10 years ago are paradoxically the moments of the last official information about his state of health, before his wife Corinna Betsch imposed maximum secrecy about his physical and mental conditions. From what we know today, after some previously unknown details were leaked through the wall built silently by the Schumacher family, the seven-time F1 world champion after the crash definitively falls into a coma and is then admitted to intensive care.

From there, to the operating room, a first time for an emergency operation. The second time, 24 hours later, for what was expected to be a definitive operation. But unfortunately, after two hours of intervention, the doctors realize that they cannot completely repair the damage. With a craniotomy, that is, the removal of a part of the skull, French surgeons Stephan Chabardes and Emmanuel Gay manage to remove only a large hematoma on the left side of the head before stopping. At the end of the second operation they speak of a slightly better situation, but still tragic, although stable, due to "the presence of numerous hematomas."

Since that moment, no more official medical report has been issued, and experts have never wanted to comment on the former pilot's real long-term survival chances. A medical folder will also be stolen, but once arrested, the alleged perpetrator will hang himself in Zurich prison.

After 10 years, only a few documentaries and some recent investigations have attempted to shed light on the dynamics of the accident and its consequences, but they have only added details to what was initially known. The most important are two: on the one hand, 'Schumi's risky choice of wanting to ski that day, with so little snow; On the other hand, the problems that arose with the first intervention of the first responders, who underestimated the seriousness of the situation, transporting the former Ferrari driver by helicopter, first to the small clinic in Moutiers, losing valuable time, and then heading to the hospital. -more equipped- from Grenoble after a sudden worsening of his health conditions in flight.

A waste of time that worsened the consequences of the accident, according to the journalist who carried out the investigation, Jens Gideon. In the same investigation it is revealed that there would also be decisive evidence about the accident. According to the accounts of some witnesses, compiled in a podcast, there are images of the fall, never broadcast on television, recorded by the camera that 'Schumi' was wearing on his helmet during the descent. Images that the family would have wanted to keep secret.

After the two surgeries, Schumacher spent a long period in some specialized clinics in Germany and Switzerland (including Grenoble and Lausanne), before returning home. Since 2014, he has been cared for by his wife Corinna and a team of experts (at least 15 including doctors, physiotherapists and nurses) who constantly care for him in his villa in Gland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, a few kilometers from Geneva. Numerous rehabilitation therapies have been tried with the champion, among which, as recently reported by the German newspaper 'Bild', even some rides on the track, transported aboard a Mercedes-AMG, to stimulate his brain and awaken certain faculties. mentally, thanks to the familiar sounds that characterized his racing career.

In these ten long years, wife Corinna has been the protagonist, not only of the maximum secret with which her husband's privacy has been protected, but also of the care and treatment he receives daily. A true "guardian angel", as the people closest to 'Schumi' have always said, such as Eddie Jordan, the man who made Michael's debut in F1, who have defined her as "a prisoner, like him."

The former director in the top category of motorsport had opened up to the media using these words: "Corinna never talks about him in public and since the day of the accident she has not even attended a party. Until now, she has prevented anyone from see her husband, but ten years is really a long time. This is not life." However, Corinna continues to consistently show her affection for her husband, as she did with a message she remembers 10 years since the accident.

After that tragic day, Corinna also manages her husband's fortune, a sum that, according to a recent study by 'Bild', would currently reach 500 million euros, between properties, investments and income from past sponsorships. Schumacher, one of the most successful drivers of all time, still maintains an enviable financial position, although it seems that the investments made have been adjusted after the tragic turn that his life took.

This is evidenced by the sale of his private plane, a legacy of his work as an F1 driver, and the acquisition of a villa and extensive land in Mallorca to enjoy periods of "beach holidays" with his family. The wife is no longer just a devoted companion but also a skillful administrator of all family affairs. Financial activities, participations in companies, investments in the market, many of these economic transactions have not been made public, but between properties and contracts, Corinna has always sought effective and sustainable management of her husband's assets, without affecting him too much, although during For ten years, considerable funds have been allocated for the care and rehabilitation of 'Schumi'.

The family has also been involved in various charities and the Keep Fighting foundation, established in Schumacher's honour. This entity focuses on supporting charitable projects related to health and safety, reflecting the former pilot's passion for making the world a better place.

Over the past decade, their father's conditions have been a major concern for the children, Gina-Maria and Mick. The first, 26 years old, had started racing karts, but then she chose her mother's passion, horse riding. She quickly became a world and European champion in Reining, an American equestrian discipline inspired by cowboy work, a sport she shares with her boyfriend. The second, now 24 years old, has followed the same racing career as Michael. After competing in F1 in the 2021 and 2022 seasons with Haas, he is now a reserve driver for Mercedes and an official Alpine driver in the World Endurance Championship.

The silence and lack of news about 'Schumi's health led the media around the world to invent stratagems to inform their readers. In April 2023, the German magazine 'Die Aktuelle' became the center of harsh criticism for publishing an interview with the seven-time world champion. However, it was not the real Schumacher who answered the questions, but an artificial intelligence. Michael's family sued the magazine (which later apologized in a letter) for the misleading and unclear formula for readers about how the interview was conducted, presented as a true "scoop" -statements-. The controversial cover of the magazine cost Anne Hoffman, responsible for the content published by the magazine, her job. Within a couple of days of the alleged scoop, the Funke publishing group announced the immediate dismissal of the journalist.

But why after ten years does the family still take refuge behind secrecy about their health conditions? The Schumacher family lawyer, Felix Damm, explained in recent months what the legal bases are for the silence maintained by the family and why in this way the wife and children of the former pilot can take legal action against anyone who spreads information. sensitive and confidential about Schumacher's health.

Damm, in an interview with the German specialized magazine 'Legal Tribune Online', referred to the concept, present in Swiss law, of "self-disclosure", a communicative dynamic that allows only Corinna, Mick and Gina-Maria to reveal details about the health of 'Schumi', with the aim of protecting your privacy and being able to punish any leak of information that does not reflect your will.

In the great secrecy that has been maintained for years, only the comments of 'Schumi''s closest friends are known, those who shared many emotions with him in the paddock and who now continue to visit him, respecting the secrecy imposed by the family. Among them stands out Jean Todt, Ferrari's historic Team Principal, with whom 'the Kaiser' won everything at the height of his career as a driver.

"No, I don't miss him, I have shared many moments with him and I am honored to be able to continue doing so. I don't miss him because he is here. With this I do not mean that his life has not changed. It is not the same as "before, what everyone remembers in F1. He is not the Michael that everyone knew. Today he looks different, but he is wonderfully supported by his wife Corinna and his children, who take care of him at all times, every day," Todt later revealed. to say on several occasions that he saw some races with 'Schumi', even during the last F1 season.

Other information comes from Schumi's brother Ralf. The latter, who always recognizes Corinna's great merit in daily assistance to her husband, along with a team of health professionals, recently confirmed that the family will continue with the policy of secrecy regarding the champion's state of health, a secret that "could last the rest of your life."

Recently, he also had the opportunity to meet Schumacher Luca Badoer, Ferrari test driver for many years and a great friend of the German: "With him I have a relationship of absolute friendship, trust and brotherhood. I spent many holidays with Michael and Corinna. It will be "In your respect, I will never say anything about 'Schumi's' health conditions."