Bernie Ecclestone has revealed why he cannot bring himself to visit Michael Schumacher at his home 17 months after the most successful Formula One driver suffered a ski accident that left him with serious head injuries.
Schumacher was left fighting for his life after hitting his head on a rock when he crashed while skiing in the exclusive resort in Meribel in France. The seven-time F1 world champion was immediately taken to Grenoble University Hospital where he underwent two operations to remove haematomas from the brain and reduce swelling, before being transferred to a hospital in Lausanne.
Schumacher was eventually moved back to his home near Lake Geneva last year, where has been recovering from his extensive injuries surrounded by his family.
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
1/17 February 2006
Michael Schumacher is seen in the pits during a training session at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste near Valencia in 2006
2/17 November 1994
Hugging two team mechanics in delight for becoming World Champion Driver after the Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide circuit in November 1994
3/17 October 1995
Flavio Briatore carries a jubilant Michael after he wins the Pacific F1 Grand Prix at Aida in Japan, and wins his second World Drivers Championshp
4/17 February 1996
Schmacher pushes his Ferrari back to the pits after engine trouble left him stranded at the entrance of the pitlane during pre-season testing at Estoril, Portugal
5/17 March 1996
During the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne
6/17 March 1997
Michael Schumacher in the pit lane during the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia
7/17 October 2000
Celebrating on the podium after winning the formula one world championship at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Japan
8/17 July 2006
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari leads the pack into the first corner at the start of the French Formula One Grand Prix at the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit
Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
9/17 October 2010
Michael Schumacher drives during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit
Clive Mason/Getty Images
10/17 October 2011
Michael Schumacher and Mercedes GP waves to the crowd as he attends the drivers parade before the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on October 30, 2011 in Noida, India
11/17 December 2011
Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher celebrate after winning the Nations Cup at day one of the race of champions event at the Esprit Arena
12/17 June 2012
Michael Schumacher drives at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 22, 2012 in Valencia during the first practice race of the European Formula One Grand Prix
13/17 September 2012
Michael Schumacher crashes into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in September 2012
14/17 November 2012
Schumacher drives in his last race during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
15/17 December 2013
Deputy director Jean Marc Grenier talks to media outside the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps
16/17 December 2013
Members of the staff are seen outside the emergency services at the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps; this is the hospital where retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is reported to be hospitalized after a ski accident
17/17 December 2013
A Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher fan waits, on December 29, in Grenoble, in front of the emergency department of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire hospital
But despite being close during Schumacher’s racing days with Ferrari, F1 supremo Ecclestone admits he wants to remember the good times he shared with the German driver – who also raced for Mercedes, Benetton and Jordan during an unrivalled career.
“I don’t want to see Michael like that,” Ecclestone said in an interview with Fox Sports.
“I remember Michael as he was. That is how I want to see Michael. If he comes back, that is how I want Michael to be.”
Having been at the helm of F1 since the 70s, Ecclestone rarely shows his compassionate side given he is responsible the pressure the sport is constantly under to entertain the fans and justify its hefty ticket prices.
But his comments regarding Schumacher shows that, despite opinion, Ecclestone can express his emotions, especially on his memories of seeing Schumacher at the height of his powers when he won the title five times in a row in a relentless domination behind the wheel.Reuse content