Fans Pay Respect on Michael Schumacher’s Birthday

Ferrari clubs plan silent vigil outside hospital for seven-time Formula One champion

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STRDEL / AFP / Getty Images

Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik gives the final touch to a sand sculpture of German Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher at Puri beach, some 65 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar on January 2, 2014.

On Friday, fans poured out heartfelt respect for seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher as he turned 45 while still in a coma following a severe skiing accident.

Ferrari, the team with which Schumacher won five straight titles, announced that fan clubs in France and Italy had arranged for buses to bring members to a gathering outside his hospital in Grenoble, eastern France.

Spokesman Renato Bisignani said that well-wishers were encouraged to wear red and bring flags, but this had nothing to do with promoting the crimson-colored car brand. “We will make sure we remain sensitive at this difficult time,” he said.

French nine-time World Rally champion Sebastian Loeb was one of many to celebrate Schumacher on Twitter:

Schumacher hit his head during a fall while skiing off-piste on Dec. 29. On Tuesday, doctors reported that Schumacher showed signs of improvement, but his condition is still serious, and he will remain in an induced coma. Daily updates have been discontinued, and further communications will only be delivered if there is something new to report.