Hyderabad: Formula One legend Michael Schumacher remains “stable” but critical, four nights after he hit his head on a rock during a skiing accident in France.
He’s in a medically-induced coma with, wife Corinna, 16-year-old daughter Gina-Maria and 14-year-old son Michael Jr keeping vigil by his bedside in the French Alpine city of Grenoble.
In Hyderabad, meanwhile, the motoring community is keeping its fingers crossed. They don’t want another Paul Walker tragedy and with Schumi turning 45 today, DC spoke to them on Schumi’s influence and their prayers for the F1 legend.
Team Tunerz owner Akash Goud and his team are planning to host a prayer meet. “When Paul Walker died, we couldn’t organise a meet. But this time, after Schumi’s accident and since it’s his birthday, we plan to get together for a meet,” he adds, “Schumacher is a gift to the racing world. I remember when racer Ayrton Senna died in a crash in 1990. Schumacher was right behind him. It was after that, that he took over the racing world.”
For Formula 2 driver Akhil Khushlani, Schumacher has been a great influence, not just on the track but even off it. Says Akhil, “Schumacher is a legend. From his technique to his talent, he’s influenced me a lot. But the one thing that has influenced me the most is his down-to-earth nature. Despite being a legend, his humbleness and the way he interacts with his team is one of his best features.”
Akhil remembers meeting the racing legend, once in India at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida and the other time in Malaysia.
“I couldn’t get to talk to him both the times. When I met him in Malaysia, I was racing in a support event to F1. And though it was just a handshake, it made my day.” He adds, “I really hope he recovers.”
Abdullah Khan, owner of Team Game Over in the city, meanwhile, is confident that Schumi will come out of this. “When a 300 kmph crash couldn’t kill him, I don’t think a 33-meter can do anything.”
Abdullah believes that Schumacher is one of the best examples for young racers in the city.
“Schumi taught the world that you can drive at crazy high speeds, but if you’re a responsible driver who can control the car well then speeds won’t kill you. It was this control over his vehicle that was another reason to push him in the limelight.”
Mazdayar Vatcha, multiple national racing champion, says, “What happened was tragic. It just goes to prove that not just racing, but even things as simple as skiing can go terribly wrong.”
Racers from the city hope that Schumi not only recovers, but comes back without any major problems. After all, legends like him are not born every day.