The German media has reacted with shock to the news of Michael Schumacher’s injury – but surprise has been in short supply as the press digests the thrill-seeker’s latest accident.
In Die Welt, sports editor Stefan Frommann reflects that “Schumacher can’t do anything without taking risks”. Arguing that Schumacher, who also enjoys skydiving and motorbike racing, has become more reckless since his retirement from motor-racing, Frommann adds: “As a Formula 1 driver, he was always daring, never stupid. Since he climbed out of the cockpit, that’s changed, and now his life is in the balance.”
Bestselling tabloid Bild asks, “How many guardian angels does Schumi need this time?”, remembering that he also suffered a serious motorbike crash in Spain as well as numerous Formula 1 accidents. The paper also reports that German President Angela Merkel was “absolutely distraught” on hearing that the national sporting hero was fighting for his life.
The Freie Presse says the stricken star was not just a dominant competitor in Formula 1, but also a surprisingly popular figure who “won sympathy points” on his unsuccessful return to the sport and was able to cast off the “frosty and distant” image he acquired in his first spell in motor-racing. The paper describes ‘Schumi’ as a “family man” and a “doting father”, noting that he was indulging his son’s love of skiing when the accident occurred.
Newsmagazine Stern recalls that Schumacher survived his most serious previous accident, the 1999 crash at Silverstone where he suffered a double leg-break. The magazine ends its article with the ominous words of Schumacher himself, describing the aftermath of that crash: “I felt my heartbeat suddenly slow down and then stop completely. The lights went out.”