An emotional portrait of Michael Schumacher appeared on the Netflix streaming platform on September 15, in which the family also talks about life after the accident for the first time. We took a look at the documentary film for you.
Things had been quiet around Michael Schumacher since his serious skiing accident in 2013. But now the fans of the seven-time world champion finally get to see something about their hero again. The streaming service Netflix has been offering a documentary about the former Formula 1 superstar since September 15.
In the very emotional portrait, a lot of previously unpublished archive material is shown. The family has also released recordings from the private archive for the first time. Holiday films about diving, parachuting, driving a snowmobile or at close family celebrations, such as weddings, show Schumacher from a very private side that was rarely seen during his active career.
In addition, many family members such as father Rolf and brother Ralf as well as wife Corinna and his two children Gina and Mick have their say. Many former companions, such as Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone, Sebastian Vettel, Mika Häkkinen, Damon Hill, Flavio Briatore, David Coulthard, Willi Weber, Luca di Montezemolo, Piero Ferrari, or his manager Sabine Kehm were available for interviews.
Critical portrait of Schumacher
It tells the story of an athlete who made it to the top of Formula 1 from a humble background and dominated the premier class for many years. Father Rolf Schumacher, for example, remembers how his son signed a five-year contract with Willi Weber after his karting days, which brought him a car and 2,000 DM a month.
The manager remembers a rather shy young man who didn't really want to be a star at the beginning of his career and suddenly found himself in the public eye. "Before his first race in Spa we ate pizza together and nobody spoke to us. That was the last time that nobody spoke to us."
The documentary shows how a passionate fighter kept pushing the boundaries of his sport, and how team player Schumacher was able to win his team members over again and again with respect and admiration, thus rewriting the record books of Formula 1.
Schumi shows emotions
Low points, such as the death of Ayrton Senna, the lost World Cup duel with Jacques Villeneuve in Jerez in 1997 or the serious accident in Silverstone in 1999 are just as much a topic as the big career highlights. The rise from the kart to the big Formula 1 stage in Spa, the first victory with Benetton or the salvation of winning the title with Ferrari - the film outlines an emotional roller coaster career with strong images.
One sentence by David Coulthard, who remembers the dramatic collision in the rain at Spa in 1998, is particularly memorable: "We sat together in Bernie Ecclestone's tent afterwards. I admitted my role in the accident. But I wanted that he also takes on some of the responsibility. But he just waved him off. Even though he drove into me at the time. I asked him if he was ever wrong. He thought about it for a moment and then said: Not that I can remember."
The statements of his closest companions show the numerous facets of a multi-layered personality. In the end, the result was a very sensitive and yet critical portrait of the racing driver and the private individual Michael Schumacher. Above all, it becomes clear that the seven-time world champion was not the cool and calculating racing machine that many still think of him today.
F1 career with guardian angel
"Michael also had self-doubt," reveals his wife Corinna. "But he was the master of the fade. He just had that mental strength. And he still shows us how strong he is every day." Manager Sabine Kehm explains why you never got to see this page before: "It was always important for him that nobody in the team noticed when he was struggling."
But the film also has relaxed moments in between, for example when there was something to celebrate - which was known to be the case more often. "At parties, he was always the first to arrive and the last to leave," Corinna recalls. Son Mick adds: "When I think back to the past, images always come to mind where the four of us have a lot of fun."
Except for the aforementioned broken leg at Silverstone, which forced the 52-year-old to sit on the bench for six races in 1999, Schumi got off relatively unscathed in the 307 Grands Prix of his F1 career. "I always knew that he had a guardian angel looking after him," says Corinna. "I don't know if that was a protection that you built up yourself or if it's kind of naïve. I never would have believed in life that anything could happen to Michael."
Accident changes life
But then came December 29, 2013. A day on the ski slopes in the French Alps changed the lives of everyone involved. The last and most dramatic chapter of the 110-minute film should touch the souls of all its fans. For the first time, the family spoke openly about the difficult time: "In Meribel he said to me shortly before: The snow is not ideal. We could also go to Dubai and skydive," remembers Corinna.
The accident caught everyone involved completely unprepared: "I never blamed God. It was just really bad luck. You can't have more bad luck in life," says Corinna. "It is very clear that I miss Michael every day. The whole family misses Michael.But he's still there - albeit differently. That gives us all strength. We live together at home and do everything to make Michael feel good."
Even son Mick, who now drives in Formula 1 himself, finds it visibly difficult to talk about his father's fate: "There are moments that many share experience their parents who are simply not there after the accident. I find that a bit unfair. I think dad and I would get along a certain way. Because we both speak motorsport language. We would certainly have a lot to talk about. That's in my head most of the time where I just think to myself: It would be so cool. I would give up everything, just for that."
His fans also miss Schumacher. But the supporters will have to continue to wait for a sign of life. Corinna asks for your understanding: "We try to continue to live our family life the way Michael liked it . Private is private – that's what he always said. It's important to me that he can enjoy his private life as much as possible. Michael used to protect us and now we protect Michael."