Michael Schumacher (r) and wife Corinna face him learning how to walk and talk again, warns Cambridge University professor
Michael Schumacher (r) and wife Corinna face him learning how to walk and talk again, warns Cambridge University professorReuters

Ferrari paid tribute to Michael Schumacher at the Spainish Grand Prix amid warnings from a medical expert that the star faces having to learn how to walk and talk again – should he ever emerge from his coma.

Members of the Ferrari team, including new team principal Marco Mattiacci and drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, posed together last weekend with a board reading: 'Remembering your 1 [first] win with us #forzamichael.'

They did it to mark Schumacher's first win as a Ferrari driver, which came at the Montmelo circuit in 1996.

The German went on to win five drivers' championships with the Maranello outfit in a glorious spell which secured his status as one of the best racers the sport has seen.

The tribute came as a Cambridge University professor warned the four-month coma guarantees that "Michael Schumacher will not be Michael Schumacher anymore."

#Forzamichael tribute to Michael Schumacher from Ferrari at Montmelo circuit
#Forzamichael tribute to Michael Schumacher from Ferrari at Montmelo circuit

Professor Peter Hutchinson told Focus magazine in Germany the 45-year-old no longer appears to be in danger of death, but the good news ends there.

He said: "It is not as if someone will switch on the light and the patient is all there. He will probably come back to a world he doesn't know.

"Michael Schumacher seems to have won his fight against death. But he still has the fight for his life ahead of him.

"He's coming back into a world where everything has changed. He will return to a reality to which he is not accustomed.

"Michael Schumacher will not be Michael Schumacher any more.

"He must find a way to cope with the new conditions, new needs to learn basic skills. Talk, eat, walk - perhaps nothing is as easy as it once was."

Schumacher, 45, remains in a medically induced coma at Grenoble University Hospital, near the French Alps. His wife Corinna and the couple's children maintain a bedside vigil.