Michael Schumacher told manager why he kept his health private: ‘I’m disappearing’

Michael Schumacher: Netflix tease documentary in trailer

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The seven time world champion was the subject of a fascinating and emotional Netflix documentary – ‘Schumacher’ – which was released earlier this month. The film focused mostly on his illustrious career, his feuds with fellow legend Ayrton Senna, and his personality off the track. But Schumacher’s family also discussed how they have coped with the aftermath of the skiing accident in 2013, something which the Formula 1 icon is still recovering from. In the Netflix film, son Mick Schumacher – who drives in Formula 1 for Haas – hinted that his father still has difficulty speaking.

He said he would “give up everything” to speak to his Dad about racing again.

Meanwhile, Michael’s wife Corinna said her husband is “different” but “still here”. She added that the family “miss him”.

Up until the documentary’s release, the Schumacher family have been very private about the F1 star’s health.

The German’s manager, Sabine Kehm, explained in 2016 why this is the case.

She said: “In general the media have never reported on Michael and Corinna’s private life.

“When he was in Switzerland, for example, it was clear he was a private individual.

“Once in a long discussion Michael said to me: ‘You don’t need to call me for the next year, I’m disappearing.’

“I think it was his secret dream to be able to do that some day.

“That’s why now I still want to protect his wishes in that I don’t let anything get out.”

Schumacher is residing in his home in Switzerland, reportedly receiving around the clock care.

Despite being a great racer, those who knew Schumacher during his career spoke of how he always valued his privacy and even struggled with being in the limelight.

In archive footage shown in the Netflix film, Schumacher himself said: “When I started, I always said, ‘Don’t make a star out of me. Don’t push me. I don’t want this.’”

Corinna admitted her husband disliked conducting interviews with the press during big races.

She added: “What he really didn’t like was the press, the people, all the people around him.

“That’s not what he wanted. He wanted to do the sport.”

In another interview, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and close friend Jean Todt, said Michael’s private nature was occasionally “unsympathetic”.

Todt explained: “He was looking for a normal life, and he had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t have that normal life.

“It’s true, he could sometimes be unsympathetic. Because there were so many demands on him. It was often too much and constricted him.

“Because he’s an extremely reserved person, shy. And sometimes that was his way of dealing with his shyness.”

A current driver, Sebastian Vettel, paid tribute to his compatriot in the documentary as he explained the impact Schumacher had on his own career.

Vettel, who now drives for Aston Martin, said: “He’s been my idol since I started driving go-karts. He’s been a big influence.

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“The racing driver Michael Schumacher is my hero, my motivation to win races.

“The sport fascinates me and I know other racing drivers but there was nobody like him.”

Schumacher is widely regarded as the best of all time – but Briton Lewis Hamilton has matched his seven world titles and surpassed his number of race wins last season.

Lord Peter Hain, a Labour peer and Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula 1, believes Hamilton is now the best driver of all time.

On Hamilton, he told Express.co.uk: “I think he is the greatest of all time. I was a fan when Stirling Moss was driving, I have followed all of the greats including Senna and Schumacher since then, and I don’t think there’s anyone who beats Hamilton.

“He has won more races than Schumacher, he’s had more pole positions than Schumacher, and if he can win this year against Max when the Red Bull is faster, he will then have the most championships.

“The demands on drivers today are much greater than they were in Schumacher’s era. It’s much tougher to win a world championship than it was then.

“No disrespect to Schumacher, I think Hamilton off the track is head and shoulders above anyone due to his promotion of equal opportunities on grounds of race but also for women.

“I think he sets an example, as he has got more and more prominent he has become more and more articulate on issues affecting mankind, including climate change, race, and diversity.”

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