FIA president Jean Todt remains an almost ever-present figure in Grenoble.
It is there, almost 600 kilometres from Todt’s Paris office, that the great Michael Schumacher – one of the former Ferrari boss’ closest friends – lies grievously injured after a late December skiing fall.
Ever since Schumacher’s coma began just after Christmas, the diminutive 67-year-old Todt has fought through the crowds of reporters in order to be with the German.
He is one of very few Schumacher friends that has been welcomed to Grenoble by the sorrowful family.
Indeed, the mutual admiration is obvious on the wall of Todt’s office, where only one photo is present — featuring his wife Michelle Yeoh, his son Nicolas, and seven time world champion Schumacher.
Now more than a week ago, doctors began to try to wake the 45-year-old from his long coma.
“Michael and his family are very close friends of mine,” Todt told the German newspaper Die Welt.
“He is an important part of my life. And now he is seriously injured.”
Frenchman Todt said he has tried to give the Schumacher family “every conceivable type of assistance” during these most trying of weeks.
“Often that is just to be there for them,” he explained.
Regularly, Todt has made the almost 600 kilometre journey to Grenoble, just to be with his unconscious friend and his family.
“I think he would do it for me, if I had an accident like that,” he said. “I am sure Michael would be here for me.”
© RIF | GMM