It is now exactly six years since Michael Schumacher suffered serious head injuries in a skiing fall. The Formula 1 legend has not been seen publicly since the incident and fans have often craved the rare updates that are offered on his condition.
Schumacher is one of the most decorated and lauded figures in the history of F1. Statistically, the German is the most successful of all time and has claimed a record seven F1 World Championships, including five in a row with Ferrari at the turn of the century, as well as 91 Grand Prix victories.
He made his Grand Prix debut back in 1991 in Belgium which is also the location of his first GP win. His last appearance in such a race was back in 2012 in Brazil before his retirement.
Car racing is a major part of the Schumacher family and as well as Michael, his brother Ralf and step-brother Sebastian Stahl have performed at various different levels of the sport. Michael's son Mick is forging his own motorsport career and took a race win in his maiden Formula 2 campaign in 2019.
The German has been married to his wife, Corinna Betsch, since 1995 and they have two children together, Gina-Marie and Mick. In 2013, Schumacher suffered a severe head-trauma injury whilst skiing with his son in the French Alps. Upon descending through the snow, he struck his head off a rock and could potentially have died if not for the fact he was wearing a helmet.
What is Schumacher’s current condition?
Since the tragic accident five years ago, there have been various developments and setbacks in his road back to health.
Immediately following the incident, the German was placed into a medically-induced coma to halt any further potential brain issues, After a period of six months Schumacher had made improvements and he was moved from intensive care into a rehabilitation unit where the focus was put on the search for moments of free consciousness or movement.
Throughout the rehabilitation, there have been varying reports of developments which have been denied by the Schumacher family and his official representatives. Incidences of Michael lifting up his arm or walking without the need of physical therapists have been mooted, but the family have been quick to rubbish the suggestions as they did not want to risk accusations of giving fans false hope.
Notoriously private, Schumacher’s family have refrained from providing regular updates about his condition in accordance with his desire before the accident.
“Michael has consistently drawn a clear line between the public and the private, which has always been accepted by the fans and the media,“ said his agent, Sabine Kehm, in December 2016.
“The decision to protect his privacy from the public has been met in Michael's interest."
Schumacher currently continues his rehabilitation in his home in Switzerland. It was recently reported that he is "not bed-ridden nor is he existing on tubes".
FIA president Jean Todt, Schumacher's team principal at Ferrari, claimed to have watched the 2018 Brazilian GP with the iconic driver, but revealed no details about his condition.