Private visits, rare footage and reason for the secrecy – Schumacher 8 years on

Michael Schumacher is still in rehabilitation after suffering a devastating head injury in a skiing accident on the French Alps in December 2013.

The Formula One legend hit his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in Meribel and was air-lifted to a hospital in Grenoble.

After undergoing two surgeries, Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma for six months to help reduce the swelling of his brain.

Schumacher was moved to another hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland after coming out of his coma in 2014 and after 250 days was eventually allowed to return to his Lake Geneva home.

His manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement at the time: "Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore.

"Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months.

"We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team at CHUV Lausanne for their thorough and competent work."

She added that Schumacher faced a "long and difficult road ahead."

In the years since Schumacher's condition has been a closely-guarded secret and his family has kept public statements to a minimum.

FIA president Jean Todt, who oversaw five of Schumacher's seven titles as team principal for Scuderia Ferrari, is among the few people to provide an update on the F1 legend's condition after visiting him.

Todt told the PA news agency in 2020: "I saw Michael last week. He is fighting.

"My god, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems.

"But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too.

"All I can do is to be close to them until I am able to do something, and then I will do it."

Schumacher's family have also recently opened up to cameras to provide rare footage of the F1 hero.

The private recordings are set to appear in a new documentary, entitled 'Schumacher', and created by German filmmakers Michael Wech and Hanns-Bruno Kammertons.

The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the documentary's release, which will also feature Schumacher's wife Corinna, his father Rolf, daughter Gina-Maria and son Mick – who races for F1 team Haas.

Kehm, who now acts as the spokesperson for the Schumacher family, said: "The film portrays Michael's impressive career, but also many of the facets of the complex man.

"The merciless and daring Formula 1 driver, the ambitious athlete, the accomplished mechanic with a unique technical flair, the reliable team player and loving family man."

Co-producer of the documentary, Benjamin Seikel, added: "We are thrilled to have had the trusting co-operation of Michael Schumacher's family and management.

"Without their support, this film would not have been possible."

According to Schumacher's wife Corinna, updates on the F1 star's condition have been few and far between at her husband's own request.

But there has been confirmation that Schumacher is still receiving treatment in the hope that he can one day return to a more normal life.

FIA president Todt told Ouest France: "I am very discreet on this subject. We all know that Michael had a very serious accident and, unfortunately, it had significant consequences for him.

"Since then, he has been treated so that he can be able to return to a more normal life."

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