Michael Schumacher’s old rival shares heartbreaking regret on F1 legend & says ‘It’s really bad what happened to him’ | The Sun

MICHAEL Schumacher's old rival has shared his heartbreaking regret over the stricken F1 legend.

F1 champ Damon Hill spoke about his sparring partner – with the two drivers having a famous duel for the title back in 1994.

Hill, 62, who eventually won the world championship in 1996, came tantalising close to beating Schumacher during the infamous season.

But a controversial tangle in the final race in which Schumacher collided his Benetton with Hill's Williams – knocking them both out of the race and handing the crown to the German.

Speaking about his old rival, Hill was reflective – with Schumacher not having been seen or heard from since a horror ski crash in 2013.

The 54-year-old was left in a medically induced coma – and mystery has surrounded his condition ever since.


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"I would have liked to have known him better. But that might not happen now," said Damon.

"It’s just really bad what happened to Michael."

Damon was asked if the two famous rivals were ever pals of tracks, to which he replied "not really".

He said: "I didn’t have much to do with Michael, not because of any other reason.

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“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."

Damon retired from F1 in 1999 having claimed 22 wins, 20 pole positions and 42 podiums.

Meanwhile, Schumacher went on to win five more titles with Ferrari before his own initial retirement in 2006.

Hill's comments come after Schumacher's pal Eddie Jordan – who gave the legend his break in F1 – explained the hardship the family are facing as they try to respect Michael's wishes for a private life.

Michael's wife Corinna – dubbed his "guardian angel" – has overseen the effort to ensure his wish for privacy is respected as he 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.

And this is on top of helping their son Mick's own F1 career and the constant interest from fans about Michael.

Not long after Michael's crash, Eddie was refused a visit by Corinna 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," Eddie told The Sun Online.

"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."

Corinna 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.

[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."

Eddie 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.

"Jean Todt was given the privilege to go see him because of how close they were from their time together at Ferrari which is completely understandable.

"I was not able to go see Michael and they said 'We love you Eddie and we've been involved with you for a very long time, but we do need privacy and safeguard of Michael'."

Michael was left in a medically induced coma after his accident while skiing off piste on December 29, 2013 – spending three months in hospital before being released home.

He is reported to have suffered a traumatic injury to his brain – but little other info has been released on his health.

The lack of official updates has left room for speculation and conflicting reports from "insiders" about his slow progress.

Some have claimed he was in a vegetative state while others claimed he was awake and able to talk.

The F1 legend was a seven-time-world champion – winning five times for Ferrari and twice for Benetton – and is regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time.

He raced from 1991 to 2006, and again from 2010 to 2012, winning 91 races.

Some pals have criticised the family for not being more open – including Schumacher's manager of 20 years, Willi Weber, and Schumacher's boss at Mercedes, Nick Fry.

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