More Sports / Auto Racing

Michael Schumacher turns 50 as condition remains secret

AP

Against the backdrop of celebrations marking Michael Schumacher’s 50th birthday on Thursday, the medical condition of Formula One’s most successful driver remains just as fiercely guarded by his close family.

More than five years after a near-fatal brain injury in a skiing accident, the seven-time F1 champion continues to be cared for in total secrecy at home in the quiet Swiss town of Gland on the shores of Lake Geneva. He has been there since being transferred from a hospital in September 2014.

“You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” Schumacher’s family said in a rare statement Wednesday. “Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy.”

It was while skiing with his teenage son Mick in the French Alps at Meribel that Schumacher fell on Dec. 29, 2013. He hit the right side of his head on a rock, splitting open his helmet. Doctors at Grenoble hospital removed blood clots, but others were left untouched because too deeply embedded in his brain.

Schumacher won a record 91 GP races. His speed, consistency and work ethic were all unmatched.

The German also holds the F1 record for most wins at a single race: eight at the French GP.