In Brief

Michael Schumacher’s family release rare health update

The Formula 1 legend, who turns 50 tomorrow, is receiving medical care at the family home near Lake Geneva

Stricken Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher will turn 50 this week and his family have marked the occasion with a rare update on his health.

The seven-time world champion fell and hit his head in a skiing accident five years ago and spent six months in a coma. Since then he has been cared for at his home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

In the statement his family said: “You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him. Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as [his] health... in privacy.

“At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy... 2019.”

The statement announced the release this week of an app and thanked fans for their support.

“As a gift to him, you and us, Keep Fighting Foundation has created a virtual museum. The Official Michael Schumacher App will be released tomorrow, so that we can review all together Michael’s successes. The app is another milestone in our effort to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments. We wish you a lot of fun with it.

“Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we! That’s why we remember his successes with the Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition in Cologne, by publishing memories in social media and by continuing his charitable work through the Keep Fighting Foundation. We want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation.”

The message is significant says the Daily Mirror as “previous statements regarding Schumacher’s closely guarded health have been released by his management company, rather than directly from the family”.

Last month, the Daily Mail reported that Schumacher was no longer bed-ridden and was undergoing extensive nursing and therapy at his home in Switzerland.

Ferrari, with whom Schumacher won five of his world titles, will host a special exhibition at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello in Italy to mark the driver’s 50th birthday.

Former Ferrari boss Ross Brawn, who is now managing director of F1, says he agrees with the family about keeping Schumacher’s condition private.

“I am constantly in touch with [Schumacher's wife] Corinna and I totally agree with their decision,” he said

“Michael has always been a very private person and that’s been a guiding principle in his career, his life. His family always agreed with that choice.”

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