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Michael Schumacher's wife asks media to leave family, doctors alone

January 5, 2014: A TV van is parked in front of the Grenoble hospital where former seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is being treated after sustaining a head injury during a ski accident. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The wife of retired Formula 1 champion driver Michael Schumacher has asked that the family and doctors of the racing legend be left alone by members of the media. 

In her first statement since the December 29 skiing accident that nearly took her husband's life, Corinne Schumacher said Tuesday, "It's very important to me that you ease the burden on the doctors and the hospital so that they can do their work in peace."

The statement went on to say "Please also leave our family alone."

Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma at the hospital in the French city of Grenoble since the accident, in which he fell and struck his head on a rock. Doctors have credited Schumacher's decision to wear a helmet while skiing as one that saved his life. 

The German Schumacher, whose 45th birthday was this past Friday, is widely considered to the greatest driver in the history of Formula 1, winning the drivers' championship a record seven times. He retired from racing in 2012, but still enjoys the affection of millions of fans, some of whom have stopped by the hospital to keep a vigil in the hope of his recovery.