Michael Schumacher’s family lawyer Felix Damm says the Formula 1 legend’s health condition has been kept guarded as a “final announcement” would not close the book on media speculation and guarantee privacy.
The seven-time World Champion has not been seen in public since suffering devastating head injuries during a 2013 skiing accident.
And since then, information on his state of health has been closely guarded, with only very select figures close to the Schumacher family allowed to visit him.
Lawyer says Michael Schumacher ‘final report’ would not be final
Following the accident there has understandably been a huge desire from the media, but also Schumacher’s fans, to be provided with a clear update on how the former Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes driver is doing.
However, while Damm said doing so was considered, it was determined that a “final report” would not give closure to the situation, as the press would continue to search for fresh updates as time passed.
Asked in an LTO interview if the desire to be left alone explains why there has been no definitive Schumacher health update, Damm replied: “It has always been a matter of protecting private information. 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.”
Aside from guarding Schumacher from media coverage, Damm was pressed on how Schumacher’s legion of fans are impacted by the blackout, and whether he understands their desire to know how their hero is.
He does, but on the flipside, believes they respect the need to keep his health status private.
“Of course,” Damm acknowledged in regards to fan concern.
“But I also believe that the vast majority of fans can deal with it well and also respect the fact that the accident has set in motion a process in which the private sanctuary is necessary and will now continue to be respected.”
The Schumacher name continues to be represented in Formula 1 through Michael’s son Mick Schumacher, who currently serves as Mercedes’ reserve driver after two seasons on the grid with Haas.