Philippe Bianchi, the father of the late Jules Bianchi, the French Formula One (F1) driver who died nine months ago following an accident during the Japanese Grand Prix which left him in a coma, told the family of racing legend Michael Schumacher to keep strong and keep up the fight overcome all struggles about Michael's health condition.
In an interview with Grand Prix, Philippe expressed his admiration for the Schumacher family now led by its matriarch, Corinna, who is enduring the struggle of Michael's horrific accident. "For what I can say, it is not to let go. So long as Michael is still there, he fights. He is the greatest champion that formula one has known," he said.
According to Philippe, he prays that Schumacher will overcome what is probably the biggest fight of his life and added it was unfortunate that his son and the seven-time F1 world champion suffered an accident.
He went on to say, "We unfortunately experienced a painful tragedy as well, and like us they (the Schumacher family) showed their strength and have never let go of Michael... For what I can say, it is to not let go. So long as Michael is still there, he fights. He is the greatest champion that formula one has known. Jules was very touched by the accident that happened to him (Schumacher) and today I pray that he can get through it, as he is still there and there is always hope."
Ferrari Boss Maurizio Arrivabene Denies Insulting Schumacher With Vettel Comparison
Meanwhile, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has denied reports he insulted Schumacher for allegedly claiming that newcomer Sebastian Vettel is a better driver than Michael. Arrivabene told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he only meant to say that Vettel has a better personality than Michael.
He said, "Michael was an introvert who opened up only to a small circle of people. Seb is sunnier - the boys regard him as one of them."
Arrivabene was earlier quoted by several media wherein he allegedly compared the two race car drivers and claimed that Vettel is a better racer than Schumacher.
Sports Mole said that a report from Corriere della Sera quoted Arrivabene as saying, "Many said that Seb only wins because he has the best car and at times I thought so too. Now that I work with him, I can say that, in some respects, he is even better than Michael."
However Arrivabene told RTL, "It has generated a big controversy out of nothing. With all due respect I have always said that Michael and Seb are great players, great drivers and, of course, are different."
He added: "I pray for him every day, he is always in my heart. Michael is a great, great champion, and man. Just like Sebastian. This is what I said, but both are different people when you meet them. Michael is introverted. Seb is extroverted, That is all. was very surprised by these reactions. Both are my great friends and if you knew Michael, you would know the great guy he is. With Seb it is simply easier to know him.
"My comments cannot be construed as offensive to Michael. Just the opposite."