Hundreds of Michael Schumacher fans will gather to show their support for the seven-time World Champion, whose 45th birthday today will pass with the German continuing to lie in an induced coma after his shocking skiing accident on Sunday.
Schumacher is currently being treated at the CHU in Grenoble, where he was airlifted with severe head injuries after falling while skiing off piste at the Méribel skiing resort in the French Alps.
Schumacher, who won the 1994-5 Drivers’ Championship crowns with Benetton and then five successive titles with Ferrari between 2000-5, remains in a stable but critical condition following two separate rounds of neurosurgery to reduce bleeding and swelling on his brain.
A statement published on Ferrari’s official Facebook page has confirmed that fans will stage a silent vigil on the grounds of the hospital to mark his birthday today.
“In these difficult days and on the occasion of his birthday the Scuderia Ferrari Clubs want to show their support for Michael Schumacher, organising tomorrow [Friday] a silent and respectful event all in Red at the Grenoble University Hospital Center,” the statement reads.
Schumacher’s family has also issued its own statement thanking fans and well-wishers for the outpouring of support since his accident on Sunday.
“Following Michael’s skiing accident, we would like to thank the people from all around the world who have expressed their sympathy and sent their best wishes for his recovery. They are giving us great support,” a statement on his official website reads.
“We all know he is a fighter and will not give up. Thank you.”
Germany’s Bild newspaper has has reported that just before his accident, Schumacher – who was on a rented pair of skis – had stopped to help a friend’s daughter who had fallen on the slopes.
He then set off on an area between two piste runs, apparently clipping an unsighted rock before falling and hitting his head on another rock. The force of the accident was enough to split his helmet in two.
Kehm’s recall of other eyewitness’ accounts will be verified by French prosecutor, Patrice Quincy, who has been tasked with investigating Schumacher’s accident.
“Some rocks were visible and others weren’t. The only thing that we are sure of at this time is that Michael Schumacher lost his balance because of one of them before he fell,” Quincy told Grenoble’s Dauphiné Libéré newspaper.
Schumacher’s family continues to maintain a bedside vigil at the hospital, while the likes of FIA President and former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt, and Schumacher’s brother and father Rolf and Ralf, have also made visits to the hospital.