Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher will be remembered by Formula One on his 50th birthday, nearly half a decade after the skiing accident that left the former Ferrari driver with serious brain injuries.
The most successful driver in the history of F1 in terms of victories (91) and titles will turn 50 on January 3rd.
Formula One will focus on highlighting the extraordinary career of a man whose fame extended far beyond the racetrack and who enthused a legion of fans in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy, is organizing a special exhibition, which will open on the German’s birthday and last a few months, “as a token of gratitude to the most successful driver of all time of the Prancing Horse.
Mercedes, the last team Schumacher worked on in F1 before retiring in 2012, will have some of his cars on display at their museum in Stuttgart.
Formula One will also dedicate a week to Schumacher on social networks, including exclusive interviews with many of those who had been part of Schumacher’s F1 story.
Schumacher remains a very important part of the sport, despite the fact that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who has won five world championships and 73 races, is getting closer and closer to surpassing the German’s records.
However, all the tributes will surely be enveloped in sadness, as will every anniversary of the accident he suffered on 29 December 2013 while skiing with his family on an unauthorised slope near Meribel in the French Alps.
Schumacher hit his head against a rock and spent months in an induced coma after being transferred to a hospital in serious condition.
“We think a lot about him,” Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff told Reuters. “He was an exceptional sportsman, we missed him.
Schumacher’s innermost circle, headed by his wife Corinna, has been silent since the accident, opting for the world to remember Schumacher as the multi-champion he was instead of the different kind of wrestler he has become.
Sabine Kehm, Schumacher’s assistant, and spokesperson, continues to protect her privacy with a firm determination.
“In general, the media never reported on the private lives of Michael and Corinna,” Kehm said in 2016. “Once, during a long discussion, Michael told me: ‘You don’t need to call me next year, I’m disappearing. I think it was his secret dream to be able to do that someday. That’s why now I want to protect his wishes.