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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he has not once visited Michael Schumacher in hospital – saying ‘I don’t want to see Michael like that’.
The seven-time world champion is still recovering following a skiing accident in 2013 which left him with life-threatening head injuries.
When asked why he would not visit Schumacher in hospital, Ecclestone, 84, took a long pause before speaking candidly about his reasons.
Michael Schumacher photographed in 2011. Picture/AP
He told F1 Racing magazine: ‘I don’t want to see Michael like that.
‘I remember Michael as he was. That is how I want to see Michael.
‘If he comes back, that is how I want Michael to be.’
Though never seen as close friends, Ecclestone and Schumacher built a mutual respect during the latter’s illustrious career, even playing backgammon together on occasions during race weekends.
The F1 supremo also shared some of his biggest regrets in the sport, including giving shares of the company which holds its commercial rights to his ex-wife Slavica.
Speaking of the biggest influences on his career, he added: ‘I was a big admirer of Mr Ferrari in the old days, though in the newspapers it never looked like it.’
Schumacher was one of the most successful F1 drivers in history, winning seven world championships – more than any driver in history.
He became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes.
But the world was left in shock in 2013 when he suffered an horrific skiing accident in the French Alps where he regularly holidayed, despite being an experienced skier.
Crowds of fans gathered outside his home and held vigils for the driver as the world waited with bated breath for news on his condition.
Schumacher spent months in a coma and now requires round the clock care at his mansion in Gland, Switzerland.
Doctors say the 46-year-old has made little progress. He is immobile and can't speak and is looked after by a team of carers.
Currently his condition remains serious and tents have been erected outside his home so that the media cannot photograph him in a wheelchair.
Last month it was reported that the former Ferrari racer’s wife, Corinna, had sold their £25million jet and holiday home having accepted that her husband will never fully recover from a brain injury.