Michael Schumacher health latest: Wife Corinna makes emotional tribute in rare speech

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Mrs Schumacher collected the honorary award from the International Automobile Federation (FIA) racing association – almost seven years on from the skiing accident which left him with serious head injuries, from which he continues to recover. She told assembled dignitaries: “He loved racing so much.

“Michael always had a big heart for people in need.”

Schumacher, who inspired the launch of the Keep Fighting Foundation which his family administers, was honoured for his commitment to the FIA’s road safety campaigns, as well as for his commitment to charity.

He is understood to have donated more than £15million to charity in his life.

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Mrs Schumacher added: “It was a pleasure for him to do all these things.

“With the Keep-Fighting Foundation, we want to continue the things that he initiated.”

The event had been scheduled to take place in Munich, but the venue was switched to a Geneva hotel, featuring a handful of guests including Mrs Schumacher herself.

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FIA President Jean Todt, a close friend of the family who was head of the Ferrari team during the Schumacher era, was also present.

He added: “Michael was always ready to support anything that helps society.”

The evening was doubly special for the Schumacher family given that son Mick also received an award.

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He was presented with a trophy in recognition of his championship title in Formula 2.

Next season, the 21-year-old is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps when he takes up a seat in an F1 cockpit, driving for the Haas team.

Schumacher sustained his injuries on December 29, 2013, while crossing an unsecured off-piste area between Piste Chamois and Piste Mauduit with Mick, then aged 14.

He was put into a medically induced coma because of traumatic brain injury.

Last year Mr Todt said he was making “good progress” but also “struggles to communicate”.

Also last year, he was admitted to the Hospital Europeen Georges-Pompidou in Paris for treatment by cardiovascular surgeon Philippe Menasche, a “pioneer in cell surgery”.

The treatment involved him being given an anti-inflammatory stem cell perfusion.

Widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest ever drivers, Schumacher won seven Formula 1 World Championships between 1994 and 2004 – a feat since equalled by the UK’s own Lewis Hamilton with his victory this year.

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)

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