Michael Schumacher receives prestigious state honor in Germany

Michael Schumacher will receive the North Rhine-Westphalia State Prize, the highest award available to a person from his region in Germany.

The special award, given to one person annually in the NRW region, is a tribute to one of the most successful careers in Formula 1 history, with Lewis Hamilton matching his world title tally.

The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in Cologne, and since Schumacher has not been seen in public since his major ski accident in 2013, his wife Corinna is set to accept the award in his stead.

His sons Mick, who now drives for Haas in Formula 1, are due to attend, and Gina, along with longtime Ferrari teammate and former FIA president, Jean Todt.

“Michael Schumacher’s work as an athlete and supporter of good causes extends far beyond the borders of his state, North Rhine-Westphalia,” Sky Deutschland quoted NRW Premier Hendrik West as saying.

He added that the seven-time world champion is one of the “pre-eminent figures in the history of sports around the world”, and that he “never lost his grip on the ground and always had his fellow human beings in mind” in life outside Formula 1.

Even throughout his career, Schumacher’s private life has always been closely guarded, and the extent of his injuries is not known.

Former Ferrari team boss Ross Brawn said earlier that he felt Schumacher would have rebounded in the new era of Formula 1, given the technical complexities present in the new generation of cars, combined with the level of analysis he used in his driving.

“This could have been right up his alley,” Brown told SportBuild last month.

“He used to be the last person to leave the track on Saturday night before the race. He sat with me and the engineers for hours on the dates and numbers. He would be fascinated to analyze all of this with the engineers.

“He would be great in this new era. Michael would love Formula 1.”

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