She has faithfully stuck by her husband’s side following his tragic accident.
And now in a rare interview, Michael Schumacher ‘s wife Corinna has revealed that she misses the ex-racing driver “every day”.
“I miss Michael every day,” says Corinna, 52, who has been married to the sportsman since 1995.
“But Michael is here – different, but here. He still shows me how strong he is every day.”
In December 2013 soon after retiring, Michael was ski-ing off-piste in Meribel, France, with his then 14-year-old son Mick when he hit his head on a rock.
Despite wearing a helmet, Michael suffered a serious injury. After being air-lifted to a hospital in Grenoble, he underwent two operations before being placed in a medically-induced coma for six months to reduce the swelling on his brain.
He has since returned to his Lake Geneva home, where he is reportedly cared for by Corinna and a team of medical staff.
But Corinna says that she believed her husband, one of the most successful drivers in Formula One history, was invincible and had “guardian angels” looking after him thanks to his escapes from serious injury during his 17-year career.
“We’d always made it through his races safely, which is why I was certain he had a few guardian angels that were keeping an eye out for him,” she says.
“I don’t know if it’s just a kind of protective wall that you put up yourself or if it’s because you’re in a way naive – but it simply never occurred to me that anything could ever happen to Michael.
“It [the accident] was just really bad luck – all the bad luck anyone could ever have in their life.”
Fiercely protective of her husband, Corinna has been criticised by some people including Michael’s former manager Willi Weber, who says he has been “cut out” of his life by the animal rights campaigner and that she has been hiding the truth about the legend’s health from his fans.
But Corinna says Michael was private, which is why the Schumacher family have never publicly disclosed the details of his injuries.
“We are trying to carry on as a family, the way Michael liked it and still does,” she says.
“We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable.
“We are getting on with our lives, ‘private is private’ as he always said. It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible.
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“Michael always protected us, now we are protecting Michael.”
The German sportsman, 52, gained a massive 91 Formula One Grand Prix wins, with the majority of his race victories for the Ferrari team.
His triumphs were followed by millions of people worldwide, and he held the World Record for several years until British driver Lewis Hamilton broke it last year.
A new Netflix documentary, Schumacher, is set to chart his meteoric rise to fame and shed a light on his personal and family life following the tragic disaster that changed his world in seconds.
Schumacher is the first officially-approved documentary about Michael, and features previously unseen footage.
It reveals that the accident almost didn’t happen, as Michael believed the snow in Meribel wasn’t optimal. The family nearly flew to Dubai to go skydiving instead before the sports star changed his mind.
“Fate had been kind to Michael, but he was a victim of misfortune,” says Jean Todt, Michael’s former boss at Ferrari and friend of the Schumacher family.
“The family’s life changed from one minute to the next. A father, such a strong leader with a great personality and that disintegrated from one minute to the next.”
Michael had several close shaves during his Formula One career which started in 1991 at the Belgian Grand Prix where he finished seventh.
In 1999, his title fight with McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen came to an abrupt end after his Ferrari crashed at the British Grand Prix.
Michael ended up with a broken leg, and that was one of many crashes he experienced on the race track.
While he also had a love of thrill-seeking activities, including a keen interest in skydiving.
When Michael first retired from racing in 2006, Corinna says he was unable to rest.
“He didn’t just sit on the sofa,” she recalls. “He had to go here and there, do this and that, one thing after another.
“Michael was restless. If the weather was nice, he would say, ‘I could go skydiving’, but then it’s not one, it’s 24 jumps.”
But Michael did show some fear after his close rival Ayrton Senna died in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Aged just 34, Brazilian driver Senna crashed as he tried to stay ahead of Michael in the race, with his car running into a concrete wall at 145 miles per hour.
Nobody knew if Senna was dead – if this had been declared the race would have been stopped, but Michael went on to win it.
With Senna gone, Michael became the number one figure in Formula One, but his rival’s passing brought home the dangers of the sport.
Historic footage of Michael shows that when he raced he started thinking, “this is the place I could be dead”.
“I wasn’t sure if I could drive without thinking that,” he adds.
“That was something very strange. I wake up during the night and I sleep maybe three hours a night, stuff like this.”
Recalling the May 1994 incident, Corinne reveals the extent of Michael’s struggles during that period.
“We asked ourselves how it could have happened – and Michael really asked himself if everyone was acting correctly,” she says.
“It was really difficult. It was a real struggle for him, but he was a master at blocking things out.
“He was able to focus so intently on whatever he was doing that he blocked out out everything else.”
But behind Michael’s steely determination, there was another, more relaxed side to the sportsman.
He spent the night before his first ever Formula One race preparing by eating a pizza with his dad Rolf.
It would be the time Michael ever went unrecognised, after he became the sport’s new star.
“Just everything that lay ahead of us, just the possibility that he could show what he was really capable of that was so incredible, but we had no idea,” says Rolf.
“That evening we sat out on a square and ate pizza undisturbed. The place was packed, I think four to five hundred people, and no-one came up to us. That was the last time that nobody bothered us.”
And Michael was also a sociable, party-loving man, who Corinna says was always the first to arrive and last to leave any event.
“He loved it. We laughed so much, had so much real fun,” she says.
“The kids still remember that, that it was always fun. Michael loved throwing people into the pool. We all ended up the pool all the time – that was Michael’s thing. Even at our wedding people were thrown into the pool.
“He couldn’t sing well. But he always sang My Way because he knew the lyrics.”
As well as Mick, who is now 22 and has followed in his father’s footsteps by racing in Formula One, Michael and Corinna also have daughter Gina-Maria, 24.
Looking back, Corinna says she feels “incredibly fortunate” to have met her husband and built their life together.
“He’s simply the most loveable person I’ve ever met,” she says.
“I once made dinner for him on his birthday. He was the only one who helped me to clear up and do the dishes afterwards, and I thought, ‘That’s a proper bloke!”.
“I fell in love with him simply because he was a wonderful person. I just sensed that he was something special to me.”
*Schumacher is showing on Netflix from September 15.