Luca di Montezemolo, the former long-time Ferrari president, has described as “terrible” the current plight of F1 legend Michael Schumacher.
Almost two full years ago, the seven time world champion struck his head in a skiing crash, and while now recovering at his home in Switzerland the precise condition of the now 46-year-old German Schumacher is not known.
“Michael was fundamental to Ferrari,” Montezemolo, who is also no longer involved with the fabled Italian team, told the German broadcaster RTL. “For me, for our lives.
“He is an extraordinary person, who even in the most difficult moments was an absolute team player. To see him in this situation is terrible.
“It’s a situation in which you don’t know what you should do. So I try to recall so many great moments in life that we celebrated together. I always think of an exceptional driver, man, friend.
“I must also say that I admire the courage and strength of his family, of Corinna and the children, and how they help Michael. From the bottom of my heart I hope to hear good news soon,” Montezemolo added.
Montezemolo revealed that, all the way back to Sebastian Vettel’s pre-championship winning days at Toro Rosso, Schumacher was recommending to Ferrari that it look into working with the younger German for the future.
“The first one who encouraged us about Sebastian was Michael,” he said. “He said he is alert, well-behaved, trustworthy, fast.”
However, it was Fernando Alonso who ultimately preceded Vettel at Ferrari.
Montezemolo explains: “We were looking for people with a little more experience and so we chose Fernando, who – please let’s not forget – spent four very successful years with us.
“But we always kept Sebastian in mind, especially after his great successes with Red Bull.
“Of course, he came at the right moment to initiate a new cycle and victorious era, and like Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher he can be part of the history of Ferrari.
“And for him I wish nothing but the best,” Montezemolo added. (GMM)