Sunday 28 December 2014

Schumacher fans mark birthday with ‘silent march’ outside hospital

Published 03/01/2014 | 07:51

Ferrari fans from France, Italy and Germany attend a silent 45th birthday tribute to seven-times former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher in front of the CHU hospital emergency unit in Grenoble this morning
Ferrari fans from France, Italy and Germany attend a silent 45th birthday tribute to seven-times former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher in front of the CHU hospital emergency unit in Grenoble this morning
Michael Schumacher's wife, Corinna arrives at the Grenoble hospital this morning
Rolf Schumacher (C), father of seven-times former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher, and brother Ralf Schumacher (C back) arrive at the CHU hospital emergency unit in Grenoble, French Alps, where Michael Schumacher is hospitalised
The Grenoble University Hospital Centre where former German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher is being treated for a severe head injury following a skiing accident
Seven times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher

Ferrari fans held a vigil for Michael Schumacher on his 45th birthday today, gathering outside the French hospital where the seven times world champion continued to fight for his life after a skiing accident.

The Ferrari team, with whom Schumacher won a record five drivers' titles in a row between 2000 and 2004, organised a 'silent march' in support of its former driver.

A few dozen fans assembled outside the Grenoble hospital where Schumacher has been undergoing treatment since Sunday's accident in the resort town of Meribel, in which his head hit a rock when he fell while skiing off piste.

"For us Ferrari fans, we are just like brothers, we are just one," said one fan, Carlo Buschini, who raised his cap and blew kisses in the direction of Schumacher's hospital room.

"We are here to celebrate and to celebrate his battle for life," said Buschini, speaking in Italian.

Supporters of the Scuderia Ferrari Club wore their team's red colours and carried a banner reading "Schumi, All our thoughts for you and your family."

In a blog post on its website, Ferrari said Schumacher was "tackling the most important fight of his life" and sent him "double wishes" for his birthday.

Schumacher is the most successful Formula One driver of all time with a record 91 race victories in a career spanning more than two decades. The German won five successive titles with Ferrari before retiring from the team at the end of 2006.

A less successful three-year comeback with Mercedes ended last year.

Messages of support appeared on Twitter from Schumacher's former team mates.

"Happy Birthday my brother Michael! Be strong!! Be strong!! Don't give up!! We are praying for you," wrote Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

Another former team mate, Rubens Barrichello, wrote "Keep it up, man ... I know ur (sic) fighting."

On Wednesday, Schumacher's agent said Schumacher was in an artificial coma in stable condition, but no update has been given since then.

Press Association

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