Even over the phone from Monaco, the emotion in David Coulthard’s voice was evident. It had been eight weeks since we learned of Michael Schumacher’s injuries from his skiing accident in the French Alps, and Coulthard, for so long a contemporary of the great German’s, was still struggling to put what it meant to see his old foe fighting for his life into the appropriate words.
“For anyone who follows Formula One and anyone who raced in Formula One in that time, he’s such a big part of all of our lives,” Coulthard said.
“He gave credibility to so many of our careers because if you could run close with Michael, you knew you were doing a good job, and if you beat him … you knew you were at the top of your game.”
For so many years, that game for Schumacher was about amassing pole positions, race wins and world championships as he dominated the world’s best drivers year after year in an irresistible partnership with Ferrari. Now, as doctors commence the first steps in bringing the 45-year-old out of the induced coma he’s been in since his accident on December 29 last year, those 91 wins and seven drivers’ titles have never seemed less important.
In Episode 42 of ‘The Inside Line’, we examine the Schumacher story and look at the next steps in his recovery.
Also on this week’s show, we examine chassis safety with Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, see what life after F1 has in store for Paul di Resta, and look at what the sport’s heavy hitters have to say about the controversial introduction of double-points for the season finale in Abu Dhabi. There’s also a revealing portrait of a driver for whom Schumacher has been an inspiration, a mentor and a friend over the years, one Sebastian Vettel.
Episode 42 of ‘The Inside Line’ is set to premiere on Australian screens on SPEED TV Australia (Foxtel/Austar channel 512) at 7pm AEDT on Wednesday February 12.