Die Aktuelle Gets Slammed for tastless "Awake" magazine cover with Michael Schumacher and Corinna on it
Die Aktuelle Gets Slammed for tastless "Awake" magazine cover with Michael Schumacher and Corinna on it

Michael Schumacher fans have reacted angrily to a German glossy magazine which ran the headline "Awake!" with a picture of the stricken racing legend.

Die Aktuelle ran the tastleless page for the front cover of its latest issue and was quickly bombarded with complaints.

But there was no direct link between Schumacher and the 'Awake' storyline inside the magazine. Instead, there was a selection of stories about people who have woken up from comas.

The reaction to the stunt was predictably strong, with Die Aktuelle accused of trying to increase readership in a desperate and crass way.

Scores of supporters and well-wishers of the seven-time Formula One champion took to Twitter to vent their anger at the coverage.

Commentator Christian Schicha called it "completely irresponsible" and added: "Schumacher's family have suffered enough without this kind of story circulating.

"This is a clear attempt to deceive the readers. It is an obvious attempt to make money out of a sick man.

"It is completely tasteless. It is ethically completely out of the question.

"Die Aktuelle blatantly makes the impression through the headline that they know something new about the case. It is completely irresponsible."

The magazine's publisher, Gong-Verlag, has yet to comment in response to the storm of criticism.

Schumacher has been unconscious in the hospital since suffering catastrophic injuries while skiing in Meribel with his son and a friend in December.

The uproar comes in the week a source close to Schumacher's family said his wife Corinna was "living in denial" over his hopes for recovery.

The family friend said of the star's family said: "Is there a sense of denial at play among them? I would say yes.

"[Corrina] would view breaking faith with the hope of a miracle a betrayal, little better than treachery," said the friend in The Sun.

Michael Schumacher's wife is building a £10 million medical suite in their family home by Lake Geneva, where the former F1 ace will be cared for as and when he leaves hospital.