German Formula 1 sensation Michael Schumacher was once among the most dominant racers in the world from the mid-’90s to his peak in 2004. His ability to race in front of the crowd and keep his position made him a favorite nearly every time he drove onto the track. All of this changed in 2013 when Schumacher’s life changed forever.
Michael Schumacher makes Formula 1 history
According to Racing-Reference, Schumacher was once one of the biggest names in Formula 1. Debuting in 1991 at 22 years old, Schumacher spent his first two years as a professional building his skillset and getting to know the competition. After winning two races in his first two full seasons on the circuit, however, he had his coming-out party in 1994.
Schumacher won eight races during the 1994 season despite missing two of the races that year. While he was already an up-and-comer at the time, this magnificent season showed the world that he wasn’t just a promising racer. He was a guarantee. Schumacher followed up his breakout season with a nine-win 1995 campaign.
While he struggled to recreate that success over the next four years, it doesn’t mean he failed, either. Schumacher won 15 races from 1996 to 1999. Then, he was back to his old tricks, winning nine races in 2000 and 2001, eleven in 2002, six in 2003, and a mind-numbing 13 wins in 2004. He never entirely recreated that magic save for a seven-win 2006 campaign.
However, after two sub-par racing seasons, Schumacher’s career and life were changed forever after a ski accident left him with brain damage that still hurts him to this day.
Schumacher’s tragic accident
According to The Scotsman, Schumacher was skiing with his son in the French Alps in December 2013 when he hit his head on a rock and suffered from severe brain damage despite wearing a helmet. This put an end to his career and Schumacher unable to function on his own. It’s been that way ever since.
Eight years after Schumacher’s near-fatal accident, Todt still speaks about his friend, struggles, and how Schumacher is doing long after the skiing trip that changed his life. According to him, Schumacher initially made some progress as he tried to get back to a normal life. In recent years, however, Schumacher’s health has taken a turn for the worse.
Schumacher spent his prime racing for Ferrari, and during that time he developed a close friendship with CEO Jean Todt. As such, Schumacher’s image was used in marketing materials, commercials, and other ad campaigns due to his godly success out on the track. As such, when Schumacher nearly lost his life, Todt didn’t just worry about his brand, but his friend.
He spoke with the Mirror about his good friend’s dire situation.
Michael Schumacher’s old friend opens up
Still, in rehab, Schumacher has already had two surgeries and a six-month, medically-induced coma as they raced to bring the brain damage to a minimum. According to Todt, he hasn’t left his friend’s side, making sure they have all the bases covered as they try to make his current situation work.
“I don’t leave him alone. Him, [his wife] Corinna, the family – we’ve had so many experiences together. The beauty of what we have experienced is part of us, and it goes on,” Todt told The Mirror.
However, things aren’t looking good for Schumacher, According to Todt, he’s barely able to function without help and is currently in the fight for his life.
“I saw Michael last week. He is fighting,” Todt said in 2020 (per The Mirror). “My God, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems. But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too.”
Todt claims that Schumacher is currently in a vegetative state with no signs of improvement. While there was once hope, now there appears to be a little bit of sorrow on the way. Todt claims that the family will need a miracle if he wants to recover. However, with his family by his side and a great friend like Todt, perhaps that miracle can be the biggest win of the racing legend’s whole career.