Michael Schumacher insider reveals devastating reaction after text message about F1 icon's skiing accident

Michael Schumacher F1

Michael Schumacher hasn't been seen in public since his skiing accident in 2013

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 26/11/2023

- 13:30

The Formula One icon hasn't been seen in nearly a decade

Former Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley has opened up on a text message he received immediately after Michael Schumacher's skiing accident in 2013.

The German was on holiday in French Alps when he went off course and struck his head on a rock.

Schumacher was initially placed in a medically-induced coma and, though he was later allowed home, details about his condition remain secret to this day.

His family insist they are keen to preserve the 54-year-old's privacy while he lives away from the spotlight.

Michael Schumacher skiing

Michael Schumacher sustained serious injuries while skiing in France back in 2013


And Smedley, who worked with Schumacher, has now revealed how he first learned of the incident following a text message from Felipe Messa.

He explains he initially thought the F1 icon had only broken his leg, before the reality of the situation sunk in.

“I was at home and where I heard it from was a phone call with Felipe Massa," he told the Daily Star.

“He said, ‘oh, Michael has had a skiing accident’.

"I said, ‘oh okay, has he hurt himself?’ He replied, 'oh, I don’t think so. I just heard he’s had a skiing accident'.

“I just thought he kind of broke his leg or something like that.

"When the news started to filter through, that it was much more serious than that, all we could do, and can do now, is continue to hope and pray for him.”

With not much known about Schumacher these days, many will remember the good times.

He was unstoppable during his time in F1, winning seven titles - with Lewis Hamilton the only driver to ever match him.

Smedley loved working with Schumacher and has nothing but positive things to say about the stricken star.

“As an ex-colleague, you can only look back with fondness,” Smedley added.

“After such a long career in Formula One, you can look back on certain people that you have worked with.

"Michael was definitely one of my favourite colleagues that I ever worked with. I learned so much from him.

“He was really good fun. On the inside, he had a great deal of humility.

"He taught me a great deal about work ethic, I worked very closely with him, especially in the testing.

"He was always trying to find an edge, he was always open to new ideas.

"He always understood his position within a big organisation like Ferrari and never got beyond that as well - he never got beyond himself.”

A new documentary on Schumacher is releasing next month.

German broadcaster ARD will shed light on his rise from a go-karting star to one of the best drivers in F1 history.

TV presenter Florian Koenig is set to appear in the show.


Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher has been hailed by Rob Smedley with the pair previously working at F1 side Ferrari together


And he recently revealed the message he provides to fans whenever they ask for an update on Schumacher and his health.

He said: "Whenever someone speaks to me, at the airport or elsewhere, the question often comes up: 'Do you know how Michael is doing? Do you know what's going on now?'

"I always say the same thing: I don't ask the family at all.

"I absolutely respect the fact that they only gave very sparse information, and I think that's right.

"I notice from these questions that people are still interested and that they still share in his fate."

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