Flavio Briatore admits he is worried about the health of his former champion, Michael Schumacher.
In the mid 90s, as the boss and number 1 driver of the Benetton team, the pair won their first world championships hand-in-hand.
Almost twenty years later, the now 45-year-old Schumacher has been lying comatose in a French hospital bed for more than 160 consecutive days.
Last week, former F1 doctor Gary Hartstein revealed he is gravely concerned that the Schumacher family has been entirely silent about the great German’s condition for several weeks now.
“I’m quite afraid, and virtually certain, we will never have any good news about Michael,” he said.
Italian Briatore, speaking to Italian Radio24, admitted he shares Hartstein’s fears.
“There is no news because the family is very closed,” he said. “They are not communicating.
“But surely no news in this case is not good news,” added Briatore.
In the past few days, German television RTL aired a special programme about Schumacher and his new battle to recover from his horror skiing fall.
German tennis legend Boris Becker said during the programme: “We cannot imagine what Corinna and the children have been going through since the accident.
“They have built a protective wall around him,” he added. “It’s been very quiet but this is the only way to cure him.”
German medical journalist Christoph Specht also said it is premature to say Schumacher is now fighting a losing battle.
“Comas are not all the same,” he said.
“There are always pleasant surprises in which patients wake up after many years.”
“Slowly, everybody is really worried. Grenoble and the family have been silent for weeks. Why?”
Roger Benoit, a member of the F1 media, voiced the fear on every fan’s mind.
The negative outlook may be too hard for Schumacher’s family to accept. A close friend of Schumacher’s family was concerned that his family members may be in “denial” of his condition if it worsens.
“Is there a sense of denial at play among them, I would say yes,” the family friend told The Sun. Michael’s wife Corinna “would view breaking faith with the hope of a miracle a betrayal, little better than treachery,” the friend said.
“She feels that the family communes around his bed side pulsate their hope and love to him, and that of the millions of fans worldwide who share that faith. She can’t express defeat because that would be the end of her.”