FANS the world over would love to hear some good news, or indeed any news at all, on former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher and his recovery from a life-threatening skiing accident.
Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the accident in the French Alps, and the Schumacher family and his manager Sabine Kehm have released virtually no details on his condition over the months and years.
It comes as Schumacher’s former manager, Willi Weber, has accused wife Corinna of banning him from visiting the former F1 legend.
Mr Weber posted his concerns on Facebook on Christmas Day, describing how he was “suffering” at the hands of the Schumacher family due to their failure to keep in close contact.
He later confirmed the story to Bild: “Unfortunately, it is just as clear as I wrote it on Facebook. Corinna prevents me any contact with Michael. I’ve tried dozens of times by Corinna to get a permission to visit, each time without success.
Privacy was always important for Schumacher in his racing days, and according to his media lawyer, Felix Damm, the public has no right to information after his accident.
“The accident itself was an event of contemporary history and could be reported on,” Damm told German news agency DPA.
“But there is no such requirement once the recovery starts and the public is excluded — it happened in a hospital and now at home.”
The seven-times F1 champion Schumacher suffered grave head injuries when he fell on a rock in a skiing accident in France on December 29, 2013.
He spent months in an induced coma, was moved from hospital to a rehabilitation clinic in June 2014, with his rehabilitation continuing at home in Switzerland in September that year.
Only the family and the closest friends know how Schumacher is doing shortly ahead of his 47th birthday on January 3.
Last week Kehm denied a magazine report that Schumacher could walk again, saying speculation of this nature was “irresponsible” because “for Michael in view of the severity of his injuries the protection of his privacy is very important”.
“Unfortunately we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true,” she said.
“Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important for Michael. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.”
Kehm has always been reluctant to raise any kind of hopes, speaking of progress here and there but always highlighting the grave nature of the injuries which even a helmet Schumacher wore on that fateful day could not prevent.
Damm said questions will always remain because “you won’t be able to say I will make a statement and clear up all open questions”.
“Instead, every statement would lead to new questions.”
While Schumacher recovers his children are entering the spotlight.
His daughter Gina is a successful western horserider like his wife Corinna.
Their 16-year-old son Mick Schumacher had his debut in motor racing this year.
His first Formula Four practice sessions on the German track in Oschersleben generated huge media attention and he is expected to continue in the same series in 2016.