Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna has given an extremely rare interview in which she paid tribute to the Formula One legend for helping her pursue her passion for horse-riding.
Corinna, 50, described how Michael had bought her a Swiss ranch for their 10th anniversary in 2005, which she still owns and where daughter Gina Schumacher has won gold medals.
‘I don’t forget who I have to thank for this. That would be my husband Michael,’ she told Mercedes’ She Magazin, in her first published interview since Michael’s life-changing ski accident in 2013.
A wall of secrecy has surrounded Michael Schumacher since then, but his son Mick’s racing career and Gina’s equestrian exploits have kept the family in the public eye.
Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna has given an extremely rare interview in which she paid tribute to the Formula One legend (pictured on holiday in Italy in 2005)
Rare interview: Corinna, pictured, described in her first published interview since Michael’s ski accident how he had bought her a Swiss ranch for their 10th anniversary in 2005
Gina also spoke to the magazine, saying that Michael Schumacher had once taught her a lesson about the responsibilities of looking after horses.
‘When you drive a car, you can stick it in the garage afterwards. But a horse needs to be looked after all the time, even on Sundays,’ he apparently said.
Schumacher’s daughter Gina, pictured, also spoke in the interview
In addition, Michael Schumacher had apparently predicted that his daughter would one day surpass Corinna’s horse-riding abilities.
‘When my husband told me that one day Gina would be much better than me, I was not thrilled,’ Corinna said.
‘What do you mean by that? I work with horses from morning to night, trying to learn everything,’ she replied at the time.
Michael Schumacher had retorted that Corinna was ‘too nice’ whereas Gina ‘could say no sometimes’.
Corinna currently has 40 horses, and said Michael would boast about how he would muck out stables and drive trucks to help his wife.
‘When I was 30 and I dreamt of having a horse, he flew me down to Dubai in order to look at an Arabian horse,’ she said.
Gina, meanwhile, won a gold medal with the German team this year in the Reining European Championships in Switzerland.
Michael and Corinna Schumacher are pictured together in Frankfurt in 2012, the year before the Formula One legend suffered a life-changing ski accident
Schumacher won his first two championships with Benetton (pictured at the Pacific Grand Prix in Japan in 1995) before moving to Ferrari
Corinna is set to open up further in a documentary about the Formula One legend due for release later this year.
The film, simply titled Schumacher, is backed by the family and is expected to hit cinemas in Germany and Switzerland in December this year.
His father Rolf, 73, is also set to appear but Michael Schumacher himself is not expected to be in the film.
Producers say the film is being made to mark Schumacher’s 50th birthday – which passed in January – and the 25th anniversary of his first world title win in 1994.
Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said: ‘Michael’s outstanding career merits a celebration 25 years after the first of his seven world titles.
‘We are very happy that this film is in such sensitive and ambitious hands.’
Schumacher’s medical condition has been held a closely-guarded secret since he fell and hit his head while skiing on the French Alps more than five years ago.
He has not been seen in public since the accident in December 2013.
Michael and Corinna Schumacher in 2011 in the United Arab Emirates – where he once took her to see an Arabian horse
Mick Schumacher, 20, took his first official drive in a Formula 1 car earlier this year as he completed post-race test driving for Ferrari, his father’s old team, in Bahrain
Schumacher is believed to be receiving medical care at the family home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
He won his first championship in 1994 with Benetton before retaining his title in the ensuing campaign.
In a rare update to mark his birthday, the family said in January: ‘You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him.
‘Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy.
‘At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy year 2019.’
The German then moved to Ferrari where he went on to dominate the sport before calling time on his career in 2006.
He returned to the grid with Mercedes in 2009 but endured a largely disappointing three-season spell.
His son Mick is hoping to follow his father’s success and made his competitive Formula Two debut earlier this year.