Michael Schumacher was scared he would die after brutal crash: ‘I could be dead here’

Michael Schumacher: Netflix teases documentary in trailer

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Netflix released a documentary on Formula 1 icon Michael Schumacher last month, documenting everything from his childhood to his illustrious racing career. In the film, titled ‘Schumacher’, those closest to the seven time world champion discuss his character on and off the track. This included a look at some of his biggest rivalries in the sport. In 1994, Schumacher was chasing Ayrton Senna at the San Marino Grand Prix as both men had their sights set on the world title.

As Senna rounded the high-speed Tamburello corner on lap 7, his car left the racing line at 191 mph, ran in a straight line off the track, and hit the concrete retaining wall at around 145 mph.

Later that day, it was announced Senna was dead – news that shocked the racing world.

In Netflix’s Schumacher documentary, they show an unearthed interview the German gave, opening up on how he responded to the news.

Schumacher said: “It was two hours after the race where [engineering director] Mr [Tom] Walkinshaw came up to me after the race and said, ‘it’s looking very bad’.

“I said, ‘no he’s in a coma but a coma doesn’t mean anything bad’.

“He said, ‘no it doesn’t look too good’.

“And then someone came to me later and said, ‘he’s dead’.

“I still didn’t believe he’d be dead, I couldn’t think of that. That point I was like, ‘no, he’s going to be the champion, he maybe misses one or two races and then comes back again’.

“The worst was really the two weeks after this as I had to accept he was dead.”

Schumacher was then asked whether it was “easy to drive” following the incident.

In his response, Schumacher admitted that he feared for his own life when racing again.

He said: “Silverstone, I went there [afterwards] and suddenly you see things with different eyes.

“I went through Silverstone in a road car and just thought, ‘this is a point you could be dead, this is another point you could be dead’.

“I thought, ‘crazy, you always raced here but there are so many points you can crash and you can be immediately dead’ ‒ that was the only thing I was thinking of.

“I didn’t know what was going to be the situation if I was going to be in the race car.

“I wasn’t sure can I drive without thinking that or I’m going to drive now always thinking, ‘now you can be dead here, if you go off here it’s going to be bad’ and that was something very strange.

“I wake up during the night and I’d sleep maybe three hours a night, things like this.”

Schumacher managed to overcome these demons to become one of the greatest drivers of all time.

His life has been met with new challenges since his skiing accident in 2013, however.

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The incident in the French Alps has drastically impacted his physical wellbeing, although his family have kept information on his health private.

In the film, Schumacher’s wife Corinna discusses how their lives have changed, adding that her husband is “fighting”.

She said: “I miss Michael every day. But it’s not just me who misses him. It’s the children, the family, his father, everyone around him.

“Everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here ‒ different, but here. He still shows me how strong he is every day.”

Corinna also spoke about conversations she’d had with her husband prior to his accident in the French Alps.

She added: “Shortly before it happened in Meribel, he said to me, ‘The snow isn’t optimal. We could fly to Dubai and go skydiving there.’

“We’d always made it through his races safely. Which is why I was certain he had a few guardian angels that were keeping an eye out for him.

“I don’t know if it’s just a kind of protective wall that you put up yourself or if it’s because you’re in a way naive ‒ but it simply never occurred to me that anything could ever happen to Michael.

“I never blamed God for why this happened now. It [the accident] was just really bad luck ‒ all the bad luck anyone could ever have in their life.”

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