Ferrari chief Piero Ferrari has said he is sorry over talk as if Michael Schumacher had passed away following his 2013 skiing accident – after commenting on his achievements in the past tense.
The seven-time Formula One World Drivers' Champion has not been seen in public following the accident eight years ago, with his family keeping details of his recovery private.
After the release of Netflix documentary Schumacher, which features interviews with those closest to him, the only surviving son of Enzo Ferrari has been asked for his thoughts on the iconic former driver.
Piero is the vice chairman at Ferrari, owning a 10 per cent stake in the automotive company, and spent plenty of time with Schumacher during his period with their Formula 1 team.
Speaking at an awards ceremony in Italy earlier this month, Piero gave his honest thoughts.
He said: “I had the pleasure of having Schumacher as a guest at home and drinking a bottle of red wine together: he really enjoyed having these moments of intimacy and tranquility.
“He was a simple, clear, precise person, a very linear personality.”
Adding of his current condition, Ferrari added: “I’m sorry we talk about him today as if he were dead: he’s not dead, he’s there but he can't communicate.”
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Earlier this month, Ralf Schumacher spoke about the recent documentary about his brother.
"There were a lot of years when I wasn’t involved. Of course there would have been a lot more, it was a very long time," Ralf told German outlet Sport1.
"But I think it’s done very, very nicely, at least in terms of motorsport and sport.
"Also, a lot of private insights, also from the family, especially the children and their mother. I thought that was really great, very open."
Adding of their time growing up together: "We had a good childhood; we spent a lot of time together.
"We looked forward to the winter when the kart track was closed, and we had more time for ourselves. That was great.
"We had a great time together, especially at such a level and in the most beautiful places in the world. Those were good times."
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