MICHAEL Schumacher’s beloved wife Corinna has been left almost like a “prisoner” as she tirelessly fights to keep his health a secret, said ex-F1 boss Eddie Jordan.
Corinna – dubbed Michael’s “guardian angel” – has overseen the effort to ensure his wish for privacy is respected as he continues to recover from his horrific ski crash ten years ago.
Corinna Schumacher once tearfully admitted Michael was ‘different’ now
Michael described Corinna as his ‘guardian angel’
Eddie Jordan spoke about how hard it must be for Corinna
The 54-year-old rarely speaks about her husband and is understood to be at the centre of managing the family’s affairs – making sure they can continue living their quiet life.
And this is on top of helping their son Mick’s own F1 career and the constant interest from fans about how Michael, also 54, a seven-time world champion, is doing after his accident in December 2013.
In a heartfelt interview, the family’s friend Eddie – who gave Schumacher his big break in F1 with Jordan Grand Prix back in 1991 – said the constant battle and pressure has left Corinna almost like a “prisoner”.
Not long after Michael’s crash, Eddie was refused a visit by Corinna to see his friend – a move he said he fully understands and backs amid the intense interest surrounding the stricken ace.
“This was the most horrific situation for Mick and Corinna,” Eddie told SE Online.
“It’s been nearly ten years now and Corinna has not been able to go to a party, to lunch or this or that, she’s like a prisoner because everyone would want to talk to her about Michael when she doesn’t need reminding of it every minute.”
Corinna is understood to have imposed a “family only” rule on visits with Michael.
And one of the only people outside their immediate circle who is allowed to visit him is F1 chief and ex-Ferrari boss Jean Todt.
Speaking via his involvement in betting firm OLGB, Eddie went on: “Privacy is such a vital aspect to sport, business and your personal life
“[Corinna] has set out some rules, I know her very well and a long time before Michael Schumacher.
“She’s a lovely girl and I knew her when she married Michael so there is a long history of good relations.”
Eddie continued: “I made an effort to go see Michael in the early days and Corinna refused, and rightfully so because too many people wanted to go see him.
“Jean Todt was given the privilege to go see him because of how close they were from their time together at Ferrari which is completely understandable.
“I was not able to go see Michael and they said ‘We love you Eddie and we’ve been involved with you for a very long time, but we do need privacy and safeguard of Michael’.”
Eddie managed the Jordan F1 team from 1991 to 2005 – with the bright yellow team known for fostering young talent, including Schumacher and his brother Ralf.
Schumacher was given his big chance by Eddie aged 22 at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1991.
It was an extraordinary set of circumstances in which Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot couldn’t make the race as he was jailed for 18 months after spraying a taxi driver with CS gas.
The team entered 250 races, won four Grand Prix, and mounted a world championship challenge in 1999.
Even after the selling the team – which eventually morphed into what now known as Aston Martin F1 – he remained involved in F1 as a regular fixture in the paddock and as a pundit in the media.
Jordan has often spoken of his “love” for his friend Michael – including earlier this year describing the 91-time winner as “there but not there”.
Corinna rarely speaks about Michael – but did reveal snippets in a touching, tearful interview for Netflix documentary Schumacher.
“I miss Michael every day. But it’s not just me who misses him,” she said.
“It’s the children, the family, his father, everyone around him.
“I mean, everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here. Different, but he’s here and that gives us strength, I find.”
She went on: “We try to carry on a family as Michael liked it and still does. And we are getting on with our lives.
“’Private is private’, as he always said. It is very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible.
“Michael always protected us, and now we are protecting Michael.”
And Eddie told SE Online about how he has spoken to the legend’s son Mick.
Mick followed in his dad’s footsteps into F1 – but the young driver, 23, struggled and lost his race seat at the end of 2022 after a series of crashes for the Haas team.
Eddie told SE Online: “It’s also difficult for Mick, he is trying to make a career for himself in motor racing.
“If Mick did not have this pressure of his father looming over him, he would probably be a much better driver than what we think.
“However, it is his father and he has to understand and cope with that, but my thoughts are with him.
“I don’t reach out to Mick often, but I loved what he said about driving the Jordan car that his father had driven, it was a nostalgic and a very nice touch.
“Nevertheless, Mick needs his own free space and time like everyone in that family needs.”
Mick – who was dropped by Haas in favour of veteran driver Nico Hulkenberg for 2023 – is now a reserve driver at Mercedes.
He will be backing up Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, potentially stepping in for them if they have to miss a race.
In a touching link to his dad, Mercedes is the team that Michael ended his career with – having a brief three-season comeback from 2010 to 2012 after his initial retirement in 2006.
Schuey is credited with helping to lay the foundations of the Silver Arrows as they went on to dominate the sport – winning eight constructors’ and seven drivers’ titles – between 2014 and 2021.
Michael was left in a medically induced coma after his accident while skiing off piste on December 29, 2013 – spending three months in hospital before being released home.
He is reported to have suffered a traumatic injury to his brain – but little other info has been released on his health.
The lack of official updates has left room for speculation and conflicting reports from “insiders” about his slow progress.
Some have claimed he was in a vegetative state while others claimed he was awake and able to talk.
The F1 legend was a seven-time-world champion – winning five times for Ferrari and twice for Benetton – and is regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time.
He raced from 1991 to 2006, and again from 2010 to 2012, winning 91 races.
Some pals have criticised the family for not being more open – including Schumacher’s manager of 20 years, Willi Weber, and Schumacher’s boss at Mercedes, Nick Fry.
Eddie Jordan with Michael Schumacher in 1991
Jordan said his ‘love’ for Michael ‘still lasts’ after he gave him his break in F1