Wednesday, 06 december 2017, 06:20 , by Matthew Scott
The president of the FIA Jean Todt has confessed that he misses the presence of Michael Schumacher at Formula One events, with the driving legend still recovering from a life-threatening skiing accident, but believes his friend is still 'fighting' for a full recovery.
Todt and Schumacher have been close friends for years, with the former Ferrari manager during the German's most dominant years behind the wheel for the Scuderia.
The FIA president was speaking at the inaugural F1 Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Paris on Monday, and confessed that it was events like this when he missed Schumacher most.
“Whenever I talk to someone, a taxi driver, a receptionist, staff at the airport, or a waiter in the restaurant, and people find out I’m working in Formula One, the following question inevitably comes up – How is Michael Schumacher?" he said.
“We miss Michael. He is fighting. I am happy that his manager Sabine Kehm has come to Paris. I invited Mick Schumacher, but he’s testing in Spain. And Corinna is in the USA. The fight goes on. Michael is a very special person, not just for motorsport. He means a lot to me, he is my friend."
Todt went on to look back on a couple of his favourite moments throughout his friendship with Schumacher, and one was based on career success as the German won the world championship with Ferrari in 2000 while the other demonstrated Schumacher's personality.
“I said to Michael on the podium – Michael, our life will never be the same again. That was the most powerful moment of my career, up there on the Suzuka podium," he continued.
“But another moment might show better what kind of person Michael really was. When we prepared for the 2001 season, he came to me rather quite shy. Outwardly an overbearing person to many, but in truth he is a shy person.”
“So he came to me and said, “Can I test in Fiorano? I want to see if I can still do it. ” So we had him do the test, and of course everything was the same. But that shows me: self-doubts have always remained with Michael, even with a driver of such class."