The radio silence surrounding the status of stricken Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is totally understandable, his mentor at Benetton and Ferrari Ross Brawn told Press Association Sport on Wednesday.
The seven-time world champion — a record that still stands — will turn 50 on Thursday but his millions of fans are none the wiser as to what the German superstar’s state of health is.
Schumacher, who won 91 Grand Prix during his stellar career, suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013 and has not been seen in public since.
He is understood to be receiving medical care at the family home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland, but updates regarding his health have been few and far between.
His privacy — there have been precious few leaks about his status —has been zealously enforced by his wife Corinna.
“I am constantly in touch with Corinna, and I totally agree with their decision,” said Brawn, who is one of the few people known to have visited Schumacher.
“Michael has always been a very private person and that’s been a guiding principle in his career, his life and his family always agreed with that choice.
“It’s completely understandable that Corinna has wanted to maintain the same approach, even after the tragic event, and it’s a decision we must all respect.
“I’m sure the millions of people who are still Michael fans will understand it, too.”
Schumacher’s landmark birthday is to be marked by Ferrari — who won six constructors titles whilst he was with them from 1996-2006 — with a special exhibition titled The ‘Michael 50’.
The exhibition in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello will be run in association with the Keep Fighting Foundation launched in 2016 by the Schumacher family.
The exhibition will allow the public to discover the contribution that Schumacher — who won five of his seven drivers titles with Ferrari — made to the car’s development as a driver and later as a consultant.
Brawn also expressed his hope that the Schumacher name may once again grace Formula One through 19-year-old Mick Schumacher.
His precocious talent has already seen him crowned F3 champion in 2018 and will drive in the Formula Two Championship this year.
“Carrying that name weighs heavily but Mick manages it with great care and intelligence,” said Brawn.
“Clearly, I’d hope to see him in F1 one day, but the important thing is to let Mick grow and find his own way without creating any unnecessary expectations.”
© Agence France-Presse