A message to mark Michael Schumacher's 45th birthday is
projected by fans on the facade of the CHU hospital
emergency unit in Grenoble. The message reads '45, Schumi,
stay strong, keep fighting'. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Ferrari fans have held a vigil for Michael Schumacher on
his 45th birthday, gathering outside the French hospital where
the seven times world champion continued to fight for his life
after a skiing accident.
Schumacher's family thanked the fans in a statement on Friday
evening (local time), saying they were moved to tears.
A few dozen fans had assembled outside the Grenoble hospital
where Schumacher has been having treatment since Sunday's
accident in the resort town of Meribel, in which he hit his
head on a rock when he fell while skiing off piste.
"For us Ferrari fans, we are just like brothers, we are just
one," said one fan, Carlo Buschini, who raised his cap and
blew kisses in the direction of Schumacher's hospital room.
"We are here to celebrate and to celebrate his battle for
life," said Buschini, speaking in Italian.
Supporters of the Scuderia Ferrari Club wore their team's red
colours and carried a banner reading "Schumi, All our
thoughts for you and your family."
In a blog post on its website, Ferrari said Schumacher was
"tackling the most important fight of his life" and sent him
"double wishes" for his birthday.
Schumacher's family said in a statement, "the incredible
sympathy shown today... has utterly overwhelmed us and moved
us all to tears. We are deeply grateful for it and also for
all the heart-warming and heartfelt wishes for Michael to get
well soon, which have reached us from all over the world."
Schumacher is the most successful Formula One driver of all
time with a record 91 race victories in a career spanning
more than two decades. The German won five successive titles
with Ferrari before retiring from the team at the end of
A less successful three-year comeback with Mercedes ended
Messages of support appeared on Twitter from Schumacher's
former team mates.
"Happy Birthday my brother Michael! Be strong!! Be strong!!
Don't give up!! We are praying for you," wrote Ferrari driver
Another former team mate, Rubens Barrichello, wrote: "Keep it
up, man... I know ur (sic) fighting."
On Wednesday, Schumacher's agent said Schumacher was in an
artificial coma in a stable condition, but no update has been
given since then.