Former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt spoke of the “privilege” of being able to spend time with Michael Schumacher, though said “he is no longer the Michael we knew in Formula 1.”
The seven-time World Champion’s health status has been closely guarded since he suffered severe head injuries in a 2013 skiing accident, the legendary F1 figure having not been seen in public since.
Very few people are allowed to visit Schumacher, though Todt is able to and confirmed in the past that he spends time with his former Ferrari driver, including watching Formula 1 together.
Jean Todt admits Michael Schumacher’s ‘life is different now’
Todt and Schumacher were key pillars in the iconic era of Ferrari F1 dominance, the team winning six Constructors’ Championship titles in a row between 1999-2004, while Schumacher claimed five Drivers’ titles in that time to take his overall tally to seven.
And Todt recently discussed the time he spends with Schumacher now via L’Equipe.
“Michael is here, so I don’t miss him,” said the former Ferrari team boss and ex-FIA president.
“[But he] is simply not the Michael he used to be. He is different and is wonderfully guided by his wife and children who protect him.
“His life is different now and I have the privilege of sharing moments with him. That’s all there is to say.
“Unfortunately, fate struck him ten years ago. He is no longer the Michael we knew in Formula 1.”
Schumacher’s family lawyer Felix Damm recently explained why no “final report” was provided on his health status, arguing that while doing this was considered, it would not have made the matter final.
“It has always been a matter of protecting private information,” said Damm in an LTO interview. “Of course, we had a lot of discussions about how to do that.
“We also considered whether a final announcement about Michael’s state of health could be the right way to go about it. But that wouldn’t have been the end of it and there would have had to be permanently updated ‘water level reports’. Because as a person affected, it is not in your hands to order the media to draw a line under the matter.
“The media could take up such a report again and again and ask: ‘And how does it look now?’, one, two, three months or years after the report. And if we then wanted to take action against this reporting, we would have to deal with the argument of voluntary self-opening.”
After his initial F1 retirement at the end of 2006, Schumacher returned for a final three-year stint with Mercedes from 2010-12.