F1 Australian Grand Prix 2023: Damon Hill’s Michael Schumacher revelation is tragic
In Damon Hill’s eyes, his iconic rivalry with Michael Schumacher hasn’t existed for a long time.
The former world champion has made a heartbreaking comment about where his relationship with his former bitter rival sits as the world continues to pray for a miracle surrounding the German’s health.
Schumacher’s wife Corinna has overseen the effort to ensure his wish for privacy is respected as the racer continues to recover from his horrific ski crash ten years ago.
The 54-year-old rarely speaks about her husband and is understood to be at the centre of managing the family’s affairs – making sure they can continue living their quiet life.
The 54-year-old former driver’s health remains a mystery that has left fans desperate for information ever since his incident in December 2013.
Watch the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2023 Live and ad-break free in racing on Kayo Sports this Sunday April 2 3:00PM AEDT. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Hill, like the rest of the Formula 1 world, views Schumacher’s circumstances as a “human tragedy”.
The English legend is featuring as one of Network 10’s expert commentators for Australian Grand Prix having cemented his position as one of the most popular commentators in motorsport.
When asked about how his relationship stood with Schumacher — after fighting out one of the fiercest rivalries in motorsport — at the time of the seven-time world champion’s incident, Hill admits the pair never had anything to do with each other.
Despite this heartbreaking revelation, Hill said their on-track rivalry is inconsequential in the greater scheme of Schumacher’s reality.
When asked if they spoke before the accident, Hill said: “No not really. I didn’t have much to do with Michael not because of any other reason. I’d retired from racing and he was still racing. And when we were racing we were sort of rivals.
“I don’t think he was really interested in getting any relationship going. It’s a shame. I would have liked to have known him better. But that might not happen now. It’s just really bad what happened to Michael.”
Hill has recently made classy tributes to his former on-track adversary, despite their bitter battle for the 1994 world championship, which ended in controversy on the streets of Adelaide when they collided while fighting for the lead of the season’s final race.
Hill in 2019, drove Schumacher’s 1994 Benetton in an exhibition event celebrating Schumacher’s 50th birthday.
After several collisions during the 1995 season, Hill broke through for his world championship triumph in 1996.
Hill in January revisited the exhibition event as another classy show of respect.
Hill has now told news.com.au, he views Schumacher’s situation as “an awful thing”.
“Whatever happened in sport, it’s just sport,” he said.
“It’s not meaningful in that sense. And what happened to Michael is just shocking and awful.
“It’s obviously just really, really hard for his family and also for himself. That’s a human tragedy and whatever happened on the track is poultry compared to things like that.
“I wanted to show my support for them and for the family, for Corinna and the children.
“I know what it was like to have lost my dad when I was 15. It’s an awful thing. He’s still in care. It’s a tough thing to have to bear.”
His comments came after more sad news about the Schumacher family also emerged earlier this month with ex-F1 boss Eddie Jordan saying Corinna has been “like a prisoner” as she tries to protect her husband’s privacy.
In a heartfelt interview, family friend Jordan – who gave Schumacher his big break in F1 with Jordan Grand Prix back in 1991 – said the constant battle and pressure has left Corinna almost like a “prisoner”.
Not long after Michael’s crash, Jordan was refused a visit by Ms Schumacher to see his friend – a move he said he fully understands and backs amid the intense interest surrounding the stricken ace.
“This was the most horrific situation for Mick and Corinna,” Jordan told The Sun.
“It’s been nearly ten years now and Corinna has not been able to go to a party, to lunch or this or that, she’s like a prisoner because everyone would want to talk to her about Michael when she doesn’t need reminding of it every minute.”
Ms Schumacher is understood to have imposed a “family only” rule on visits with Michael.
And one of the only people outside their immediate circle who is allowed to visit him is F1 chief and ex-Ferrari boss Jean Todt.
Speaking via his involvement in betting firm OLGB, Jordan went on: “Privacy is such a vital aspect to sport, business and your personal life
“[Corinna] has set out some rules, I know her very well and a long time before Michael Schumacher.
“She’s a lovely girl and I knew her when she married Michael so there is a long history of good relations.”
Jordan continued: “I made an effort to go see Michael in the early days and Corinna refused, and rightfully so because too many people wanted to go see him.”