Ferrari’s heart still beats for Michael
Maranello, 29 March – Seventy two messages, one for each of Michael Schumacher’s victories in red, were run over the same number of days on our web site, starting with President Luca di Montezemolo and ending yesterday with one from Rory Byrne, the designer of all the cars with which Michael has won in Formula 1. Rivals, friends, colleagues, even fans, famous names and unknowns all joined together by their affection for a driver who played such an important role in Ferrari’s history and indeed in that of motor sport as a whole. They also wrote about a man who can be shy and generous, determined and kind. 72 people were chosen from the thousands who wrote in during this difficult time and they also speak for those who kept their thoughts to themselves.
Now, all these messages will be put together and passed on to Michael’s family. When he reads them, then he will smile, we are sure of it, thinking back to so many events linked to the people who wrote them, letting him see what he knows already, that Ferrari’s heart still beats for him.
Luca di Montezemolo – Michael, my thoughts are always with you, with great affection! Everyone at Ferrari is following your situation, just as they did from the pits at so many Grands Prix that you won with us and I am equally certain that you will also win this very important battle!”
Fernando Alonso – Get well soon Michael and I hope to hear some good news as soon as possible!
Giuseppe d’Agostini – A team wins together and you dear Michael helped us win so many times. This time, everyone in the team will help you win, with our affection and our strength.
Gino Rosato – Michael!! What can I say. You taught the world what perseverance, hard work and never giving meant, “The Greatest of All Time”. The memories of traveling the world all together, the memories of being part of something that we will never forget. We were one, your Ferrari team, your guys, your second family. We are still all behind you, this time in a different way, in our prayers, in our thoughts, in our beliefs that if anyone can beat the odds, it’s you buddy. We are there with you, just like the good old days, every single one of us. God be with you, with love, your buddy!
Mattia Binotto – In the past few days, I looked back at the photos and fished out all the records. In the cockpit, Michael you didn’t leave an inch for your rivals and in our technical meetings no stone was left unturned. In the morning, you were always the first one in and when karting you took no prisoners. At football, you were always on the ball, you were our champion. Now, I’m sure that, as always, you won’t give up at all and you will win again. Forza Michael, see you soon. We’re waiting for you.
Felipe Massa – Dear Michael, my great friend, you helped me so much in my career and I pray for you every day. I took part in my karting race with your name on my helmet visor and now I want to see you stronger than ever, just as always. I give you a big hug!
Luca Baldisserri – Michael I’ll never forget when, back in 2000 you came and said some encouraging things to me after the problems with the car at Spa. Your message was clear – never give up. Now, I’m the one telling you the same thing. We want to see the old Michael again.
Pietro Timpini – Michael, get well soon. We are waiting for you and together we must still see if anyone can ever beat your records, although I don’t think anyone ever will. And you will win this fight too. You are number 1 and I love you.
Claudio Bisi – Ciao Michael, we have shared so many victories together and now, more than ever, we all want to see you take the greatest victory of all.
Nikolas Tombazis – Caro Michael, all of us at Ferrari miss you a lot, both for what you achieved with our cars, but also for the human aspect you brought to the team. We know you can make it! Hope to see you smile soon. Un abbraccio!
Francesco Uguzzoni – Dear Michael, there’s a big difference between most people and a special person. You are a special person who really believes in what you do, say and behave. You are a constant in an ocean of change. We have won so much together and now you must do it again. Your friendship is a very special gift. See you soon Michael.
Andrea Stella – Michael, friend and brother in arms, even after so many tests and races, even when I thought I finally knew you, you were always able to surprise me in some way, thanks to your amazing abilities as a driver and as a man. You could surprise in the great sporting challenges and in every little attention you paid to everyone in the team, which you never took for granted. In recent times, more than ever, so many moments spring to mind, from the photo of a hug after a win, to the posters in the factory which catch my eye, to the reflections of colleagues regarding what your time in Maranello meant, to the telemetry from a quick lap which I have on a wall at home. You proved you could always raise the bar that little bit further, without ever giving up. We fully expect you to surprise us once again with this new challenge you are facing. You are in our thoughts with all our love.
Niki Lauda – Michael, every day I follow your improvements and every day I am close to you. I hope I can speak to you very, very soon!
Piero Ferrari – Dear Michael, having spent so many years at Ferrari, you became one of us. You thrilled us so often, bringing us great joy, but the greatest one is yet to come: namely seeing you here in Maranello again, to meet your second family, the Ferrari one. We are waiting for you.
Rossella Giannini – Every so often I reread the message you sent us for Christmas and it tugs on my heartstrings. I’d have a whole load of things to tell you. You know there’s always a table waiting for you here and it will be at that table that I will tell you everything…We love you and we are waiting for you dear friend.
Maurizio Ravazzini – Michael, you are our great champion with whom we won everything. However, now you must win this race. As we were then, we are right behind you now, as one united team. We have faith. Go on, give it your best, take pole and the win. Paccio
Diego Ioverno – Forza Michael! If anyone can do it you can. Fight to come back to those who love you and will delight in your presence. We know what you are made of and what a tough cookie you are. You never liked losing, neither on the track nor on the football pitch and now this is the most important match of your life. Don’t give up.
Luigi Fraboni – Ciao Michael, working with you was always great and also stimulating. There were so many challenges and difficult moments, but plenty of satisfaction too. You have always been very close to us and showed a great love for the team as if it was like your family. At this time, we feel very close to you and, knowing your great sense of determination, we believe you can do it. “Frabo.”
Ercole Colombo – Dear Michael, I have photographed you thousands and thousands of times on all the race tracks of the world. Your jump on the top of the podium, starting with Monza ’96 became your trademark for so many wins and world titles. I am thinking of you and hope to be able to take my best shot – you smiling again in front of my lens. Ciao!
Giuliano Salvi – One day it will be good to look back calmly at these times and consider it as a case of just going a bit deep into a corner of a race where there is still everything to play for. While waiting for that moment, all my heartfelt wishes.
Giuseppe Rizzo – My thoughts are of an exceptional person, a motor racing champion, but above all a gentleman. Michael, you have won a lot of races, a lot of world championships and you are a legend in Formula 1. Now you must win the hardest battle. Get well soon. All my heartfelt wishes. Beppe.
Alex Cinelli – So many feelings and great memories spring to mind and I hope there will be more to come once you are better Michael. Something I think of a lot at the moment are the words Ross would usually say to you: “Come on Michael, you can do this!” See you soon, Alex
Andrea De Cesaris – Ciao Michael, what has remained with me is a memory from when you made your debut as my team-mate in the Jordan F1 car. My electronics engineer came up to me and asked why I wasn’t going flat through ‘Eau Rouge,’ one of the most difficult corners on the calendar. I asked why he wanted to know that after just one free practice session, as I wanted to get more confidence in the car at this fearsome corner and the answer was, “Michael’s taking it flat!” That was your Formula 1 debut. Now you have to tackle an equally difficult flat out challenge, but knowing your determination and your inner strength, I know you can do it. All the best Michael, hang in there.
Cinzia Curti – Forza Schumi, go on, come back to us, I miss your smile and your famous podium leap!
Jean Alesi – Dear Michael, not a day goes by at home without me and my son Giuliano talking about you, about your recovery in which we believe and the times we spent go-karting together. Now, we are waiting for you and we want to see you as soon as possible back on the same karting track so we can all race together again!
Róbert Szakács – Michael you are our Champion! You are phenomenal, a limited edition of sportsman. All the F1 world is behind you!
Victor Ivanov – Thank you for all the glorious memories, Schumi. You taught me the value of effort and hard work, the importance of fighting till the end no matter what. You are a true inspiration for me! Be strong!
Antonello Fiorucci – Michael, do you remember qualifying at Imola in ’96? What a lap guys, what a lap! And the overtaking move you put on Hakkinen at Monza in ’98? Unbelievable! You have never failed me and you won’t this time. Forza Michael!
Riccardo Patrese – Come on Michael, our new challenges as cowboys are only just beginning! No joking, come back soon. I’m waiting for you.
Gary Anderson – Michael, one of my fondest pub stories is telling people about this young German kid called Michael Schumacher who in 1991 arrived at Jordan to do a short test on Silverstone’s South Circuit prior to making his Formula One debut at SPA and how after four laps we pulled him in and ask him to take it easy, his reply was: “I’m taking it easy.” He proved how right he was when he amazed everyone with his performance and that Saturday in SPA we all knew a star was born. Michael, mine and everyone at Jordan’s thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, get well soon.
Gerald Brussoz – I met you in 2005, having worked with most of the F1 drivers of that era. From that first contact I understood you were different. Different in your perception, different in your ability to adapt to all situations, differerent because you were very inquisitive, but especially because how close you were to your engineers and the team. You always knew that to be a world champion, just driving wasn’t enough. For you all the little details counted. It was your human qualities that made the difference and helped you to be the man we all know, the great Schumi for ever. I was there for your last race with Ferrari in Sao Paulo in 2006, which was meant to be your last race ever and I will remember it all my life as it summed up the man you are, a fighter. After a few laps, you found yourself last after a puncture. Even though it was clear your chances of taking another Championship title were slim, you drove one of the best races of your career, staging an incredible climb back up the order, passing lots of cars to finish a great fourth. When you cut the engine for the final time, I shed a tear.
You are a fighter on track and in life. This will help you, I’m convinced of it, in recovering from this accident. We often spoke about skiing, as I come from the Haute Savoie and love mountain life. We all know but the pleasure you get from it is so great, that only those who experience it can understand.
In Grenoble, you can see the mountains from your window and they await you as the fighter you are. With the help of your family and those who love you, you can produce a performance like in Sao Paulo in 2006. Please do it.
Pina Accardo – I’ve always been a Ferrari supporter and I’ve loved all the drivers over the years who have been at the wheel of a Prancing Horse car, winner or no, but what you managed to do Michael was fantastic. I wish everything would go back to the way it was and that you and your family come out of this tragic nightmare. Best wishes champ.
Jimmy McNamara – Michael, you will ski again, drive again, and go fast again. That is what you do. The thrill of speed defines you. I hope the road to recovery is more like a drag strip, short and fast!
Sandro Selva – It was way back in 2002 and I was a very young electronics engineer at my first test at the Fiorano track with Ferrari. I was very nervous because you were driving and I felt a great sense of responsibility. Coming back to the engineers room, after carrying out a check on the car, I found you had taken my chair and were chatting with Chris about the behaviour of the car and I didn’t have the courage to ask you to get up so I carried on working, standing up next to you. You saw me and got up, apologizing as you gave me back my chair. When I protested, you replied peremptorily, ‘No you are working, I can easily chat standing up.” Now the roles are reversed and I am the one chatting away about the past while you are working hard to get back. Don’t give up, we are waiting for you.
Donato Russo – Dear Michael, all my very best wishes to you and those dear to you, wishing you a full recovery so that you can return better than ever!
Claudio Bersini – After so many years spent together on the race tracks of the world, I want you to know how much love I have for the great man and driver that you are and that I am with you. Forza Michael!
Carmine Celotto – You always kept your foot flat on the accelerator pedal going through the most demanding corners, taking lines others could not. So continue to keep your foot planted on the pedal of your will to emerge from this umpteenth test. Come on Schumi, we are all by your side, with our moral presence and will continue to talk to you until the day you awake saying with a smile that it has all passed.
Massimo Trebbi – Ciao Michael, I wanted to tell you that in the 10 years we spent together you taught me a great virtue: never drop your guard and always fight for a great result, both in work and in life. I know, now it’s tough, but I wish you all the very best of luck so that you can win the most important fight of your life. I look forward to seeing you to give you a hug, as we often did after a victory. I love you and send you a kiss.
Adriano Casolari – Dear Michael, many messages have been written for you on this board. I was there for your first test with Ferrari and I remember that we arrived at the track at 7 in the morning and you were already there waiting for us. Now it’s our turn to wait for you to come back as soon as possible. As you taught us, always fight to reach your goals! I am sure you will win this battle too. Forza Michael, a big hug!
Francesco Cigarini – Michael, not a day goes by that I don’t think of you, of what you have done, at the tension that existed the first time we worked together and the delight in discovering what you are really like, a strong man, which is clear to see from your smile and from the determined and sincere look in your eyes. That man taught me so many things that are still within me and now I give you back the strength you gave me, in expectation of meeting you again. Forza Michael!
Luca Cibien – Don’t give up Michael. We want to see the same grit and determination from when you were with the Reds and you made us dream. What great times they were.
Michele Ayrton Testa – You only have to look at my name to see I have already lost one legend and then you came along. Don’t go. Fight the way you did on the last lap in Brazil with Ferrari!
Rocco Leonardis – You have done the impossible, without being asked. But now, we are asking you for one more effort. Do it for us and win this battle.
Stefania Bocchi – Dear Michael, I’ve watched you win Grands Prix and World titles and this now is the most important challenge of your life. I’m sure I will see you triumph once again. A big kiss!
Pino Allievi – Michael, life needs you and we are waiting for you!
Tony Pedigo – It’s raining Michael…time to come back for us all. Another time to do your best for all of us. We will need your voice as we all look back on your our F1 glory days. You have my humble best wishes to recover and share all your memories with us for many more years. Thank you sir.
Maurizio Arrivabene – Dear Michael, you are and will always be in our hearts, as a man and as a Champion. Once again this time, I’m sure you will do it and I can’t wait to hug you again!
Umberto Zapelloni – Michael, I was there the day of your first Grand Prix, when it only took you a few laps to show the world what a driver you were. I was there at your second GP as well, when you had already changed teams, which caused quite a fuss. I remember at the Monza weekend, when one could still get close to you to ask you a question, I asked you among other things what the brakes were like on your Benetton. You looked me in the eye and replied, “but you already asked me about the brakes, in Spa two weeks ago, wanting to know what was the difference between them on a prototype car and a Formula 1 car.” I was amazed at your powers of memory and not just that. These were the small differences between a champion and a normal human being. Champions remember everything. And when they want, talk about everything, from neighbours who become too curious and made you move to Switzerland, or about Gina Maria nappies that you used to change. About how Ferrari had got under your skin and how the pasta fed your stomach… The numbers say you are the best of all time. I had the good fortune to follow you from the first to the last race, to use a river of ink writing about you, to know and appreciate you and, yes it’s true, on occasion to curse you. Now I feel I must cry out with everyone else, Forza Michael…On the first page of my pink newspaper, I also asked Ferrari to write it on its bodywork. It’s done and the message appears on its website every day. You are in our hearts with your wins and that will never leave us, just as you will not go without waking up and greeting those who love you. Forza Michael, stay with us!
Giancarlo Fisichella – Forza, Michael I will never forget the lap when you gave me a lift on the sidepod of your Ferrari, when I stopped out on track with a problem at Hockenheim! I’m waiting to enjoy a nice game of football with you. Forza Michael!
Daniele Dallera – A smile is not a quotidian part of Michael’s public life, as he’s more the serious than the smiling type. However, for we fans the smiles he put on our faces with his wins in Red was enough. Apart from that, Iwill never forget one particular smile, as it was so surprising and full of emotion, as he had it when he came to see a good journalist who was hospitalized as he dealt with his own personal fight to the flag. Michael Schumacher, heart and class.
Bernie Ecclestone – it was a long night to convince both Eddie Jordan to release you and Flavio to take you but apart from my loss of sleep, it worked out well and I was very proud to have made it happen. I have always been one of your big supporters, so don’t let me down. My warmest wishes!
Laura Dalcin – Michael, even if I don’t know you, you were a friend on so many Sunday, as you brought my afternoons to life in front of the TVm as I shouted “go on Schumi!” Now? Now I am still shouting it, for you, your family and for all of us who followed you at 300 per hour for all those year. You’ve got to do it and give us one more thing to shout about.
Gabriele Maurizio – Thanks Michael, you knew how to thrill us with your exceptional driving in our Red car. Don’t give up, we’re waiting for you!
Hirohide Hamashima – I have many good memories with Michael. I remember the first time I met him, at the Fuji Circuit for an F3 race. One year later he joined a Japanese F3000 race. We had qualifying tires that were new for him. He came to me and asked questions for two hours. He was already extremely professional, just like when we worked together in F1. On the track we were team mates, outside we were soul mates. We shared a great passion for sushi. Once I took him into a famous sushi restaurant. He exclaimed like a kid: “I have never had such a wonderful sushi before”. He’s a great man, I pray he will show his smile to all of us again.
Marco Galli – Dear Michael, I well remember when you were in the car fighting for the win and I was at the computer screens, anxiously scanning the graphs and numbers, hoping that no technical problems showed up. Usually, I was agitated, my heart beating like mad. But then I’d tell myself, ‘stay calm, it’s Michael in the car, he knows what to do, how to react and make the best of it even in tricky situations. Now you are in a very difficult race and, even if I’m not there with you, my heart is beating in trepidation more than before. It comforts to me to remind myself again, like I used to do, that you are the best, you never give up and you even know how to deal with the impossible. Forza Champ, we’ll see you on the podium!
Bobby Goodwood – For me the most important victory is the victory yet to come” Enzo Ferrari. Michael, recovery will be your ultimate victory!
Eddie Jordan – Silverstone ’91, your first F1 drive: simply amazing, never to be forgotten. Get well Michael, keep attacking! The Jordans XXXXX
Leonardo Zanieri – Michael this is the longest straight which you must now tackle with full throttle, never touching the brakes. Don’t stop, go ever quicker until you get to the limit. Then you must brake, but for the rest of the time, it’s pedal to the metal! Grande Michael!
Massimo Balocchi – Dear Michael, we spent so many days together, on the track, travelling the world, but we still have a long road ahead of us. I know how strong you are, as you proved so many times and I know you can prove it again. I’m waiting for you, as we still have that nice motorbike ride in America to do!
Flavio Briatore – Michael, I still remember the all-nighter we spent together in the Villa d’Este, negotiating your move with Eddie and Bernie. A lot happened after that didn’t it! You went ever onwards, year after year, winning more titles. Now I want to hug you again, as soon as possible, just like we did after winning a Grand Prix!
Martin Brundle – Michael, we think and talk about you and your family every day, and we anxiously await good news from this, your greatest challenge of all. You have all of our support and best wishes in these dark days and we desperately hope for and look forward to happier times with all of our hearts. The Brundle family.
Andrea Vaccari – Sometimes words mean a lot, other times a little. Now I don’t think there’s much to say and I would never have thought that one day I’d be writing to you for this reason: you made us dream, enjoy ourselves and sometimes cry with delight and you gave so much. You are a great friend, don’t give up Michael, I love you, we love you! Ich drucke die Daumen für dich.
Ivan Capelli – Dear Michael, there are so many moments we have spent side by side. On the start grid for your debut in 1991 at Spa-Francorchamps. In 1992, when I was a Ferrari driver and you took your first win there in Belgium. In the years when I was a TV commentator and spoke about all your wins in a Ferrari. I lived and felt close to you, just like the thousands of fans to whom you gave great pleasure. For all these reasons and aware of just what you had achieved I asked you if I could have the honour of having one of your helmets, when we were at a charity football match for the Nazionale Piloti. Once again you amazed me because your answer was the umpteenth lesson of intelligence and respect. “Ivano (that’s what you always called me) I will give you one of my helmets, but you must give me one of yours.” Michael I ask you for one more present. Surprise me once again.”
Giuseppe Argenti – Great man, great driver, great champion! We love you and we are all with you!
Johnny Herbert – Michael, you are in our thoughts every day. Keep fighting Champ. We send our love and positive wishes to you, Corinna, Gina-Maria and Mick. Johnny Herbert, Rebecca, Chloe and Aimelia. xxxxxxx
Massimo Massa – With your dazzling smile, as you punched the air, you had Number 1 tattooed on your skin! Forza Schumi! Dont give up!
Damon Hill – My experience of Michael has been mostly as an adversary, but what an adversary! It is every sport’s person’s ambition to find out how they compare to the very best. Michael has won more races and Championships in Formula One than anyone else, so to have been in a World Championship showdown event against Michael is to find out once and for all how you rate as a driver. I am grateful to have had the chance to race Michael in some epic duels. He gave me that opportunity. I remember Suzuka 1994 as one of the greatest races of my life, and Adelaide! Sometimes you upset me, Michael, with the things you said, and I probably upset you too, by crashing into you! But all that is unimportant now. All that matters is that you recover and come back to your family. Wishing you all the goodwill in the world, Michael.
David Coulthard – Dear Michael, first of all I am so very sorry that you have found yourself in this situation, sorry for your family, lead by Corinna and all the pain they must be experiencing as you make your recovery. When I reflect on our racing together I am filled with a number of emotions. This is because I met 3 Michaels during our time racing together. First of all the family man, remember when we ended up riding horses whilst taking time off in Australia, near to Cairns? or the after party in Hockenheim when we ended up singing karaoke together? Petra went in the pool at the end of the night! The racer, unbelievably committed and undeniably the fastest of our generation and that’s not taking into account all the records broken along the way! The blunt sportsman! On reflecting I feel it wouldn’t be correct not to acknowledge the few differences of opinion that we had along the way! I will always remember Spa 98 when you arrived at my garage during the race dragging Jean Todt as he tried to stop you entering the McLaren garage! Racing against you brought out the best in all of us, I can say without fear of contradiction that your talent, your commitment and the support of your nearest and dearest took you to a level that most of us could only dream. You gave my career credibility and made me work harder, drive faster and achieve more than I would have done with lesser competition. I have always admired your speed and commitment and I look forward to being able to reminisce over a Bacardi and coke about how the kids today don’t know how difficult we had it in our day ! Michael, I am thinking of you and your family, praying that this situation can be over and life can return to normal. With my greatest respect, DC.
Giuseppina Terranova – Forza Michael! I’ve been following you since 1997 and I want to keep following you for many years to come. Hang on in there Schumi!
Yolanda Rambock – From Venezuela, I send you strength Schumi. My daughter is one of your greatest fans. May God help you and give you the necessary strength to overcome this moment.
Salvatore Gala – One more overtaking move at the end of this tricky corner. You can do it, come on!
Rory Byrne – Hi Michael, many, many people in the world know what a great Champion you are, with tremendous skill and an indomitable fighting spirit. However, those people that know you, know what a caring person you are. I will never forget a moment during testing about 15 years ago, when you were testing the new car on a cold January day. Towards evening with light fading, you were stationary at the start of the straight at Fiorano waiting to perform one last series of tests. We were waiting for some software update to be installed and everyone was fully focused on making sure that the test preparation was perfect when I heard you speak over the radio “Can someone bring jackets for the mechanics that are here with the car, they’re getting cold.” Now in your hour of need, it’s the turn of others to care for you. I am sure your loving family, close associates and friends as well as the medical staff are providing you with the very best care. To overcome this setback you’ve had and regain your health and fitness, will require courage and determination, but if there’s anyone in the world who can achieve this, you can. I want you to know that all of us here at Ferrari are thinking of you and we’re with you all the way in your fight back to health and fitness. With best wishes for a full recovery, Rory.