MICHAEL Schumacher’s former Mercedes boss has called on his family to finally reveal the truth about the F1 legend’s health to help fans “empathise”.
Nick Fry says “it’s a pity” that little has been revealed about Schumacher, who hasn’t been seen in public for almost six years following his skiing accident.
The star, 50, was this morning revealed to be “conscious” following pioneering stem cell therapy in a Paris hospital.
Schumacher has been recovering at the family home in Lausanne, Switzerland after he sustained serious head injuries in December 2013.
His devoted family fiercely protects his privacy.
Thick forest around his castle-like home and high surrounding walls provide sanctuary from fan and media intrusion.
However, to coincide with his 50th birthday in January, his family issued a rare statement saying they “are doing everything humanely possible” to help the F1 champ, and “that he is in the very best of hands”.
Other than that, there have been few updates about his well-being.
But his scores of fans need more details on their hero, urges Nick Fry – who worked alongside Schumacher for three years at Mercedes.
Writing in his new book, Survive. Drive. Win., Fry reckons the sporadic offerings about a driver who won a record seven world championships, 91 grands prix, and commanded a following of millions around the world, are not enough.
Because of what he achieved, people would like to know about his condition; they are inquisitive and they genuinely feel for him.
Nick Fry ex-CEO for Mercedes
In it, he writes: “Corinna and the family have kept a very tight control on information about his treatment which, I think, is a pity.
“There are millions of people out there who have a genuine affection for Michael, and that’s not just his fans in Germany or fans of Mercedes Benz.
“Because of what he achieved, people would like to know about his condition; they are inquisitive and they genuinely feel for him.
“I do think that reporting on how he is, regardless of whether it is good or bad news – and possibly it is bad news – is important because people can empathise with him.”
Fry also writes: “From what I understand, Michael’s family have been able to give him the best treatment that money can buy in a specially constructed facility at the family home in Switzerland where he is looked after by a dedicated team around the clock.
“I am sure that techniques and therapies have been developed and tried there over the last few years that may well help others.
“It would be helpful for his family to share how they have dealt with this challenge because there are lots of people in a similar situation who would probably find it beneficial to have that first-hand experiences.”
Fry was chief executive for Mercedes during Schumacher’s largely unsuccessful second spell in Formula One.
He was replaced at Mercedes by Toto Wolff in 2013.
Schumacher was admitted to a Paris hospital to be treated on Tuesday with cutting-edge stem-cell therapy, according to a French newspaper, Le Parisien.
The racing ace was reported as being “conscious” following treatment from French cardiac surgeon, Professor Philippe Menasche.
He was admitted under tight guard on Monday to the Georges Pompidou hospital for transfusions of inflammation-reducing stem cells, and is expected to be discharged today.
Those close to Schumacher have always insisted his condition is a private matter.
Speaking at a media meeting in March 2016, manager Sabine Kehm hinted at a reason for the secrecy, saying that Schumacher had always yearned for a life away from the cameras.
“In general the media have never reported on Michael and [wife] Corinna’s private life,” she said.
“When he was in Switzerland, for example, it was clear he was a private individual.
“Once in a long discussion Michael said to me: ‘You don’t need to call me for the next year, I’m disappearing.’
“I think it was his secret dream to be able to do that some day. That’s why now I still want to protect his wishes in that I don’t let anything get out.”
Last year, “close relatives” reportedly gave French magazine ‘Paris Match’ an insight into Schuey’s current health.
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One was quoted as saying: “When you put him in his wheelchair facing the beautiful panorama of the mountains overlooking the lake, Michael sometimes cries.”
And Schumacher’s former boss at Ferrari Jean Todt has told how he visits the race ace every month.
He told The Times: “I love Michael. I see his family. I wish the situation would be different.”