Michael Schumacher generously lent his racing overalls and helmet to a model at the Brazilian Grand Prix – before going on to win the race in style.
Back in the days of grid girls, models were a regular feature at F1 grand prix weekends, mingling with drivers and posing for pictures in the pits and paddock. The 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix was no different, but unusually one model ditched a skimpy outfit and went full F1 racing mode instead.
The unnamed stunner got her hands on the gear of the sport’s top dog in Schumacher, who had been crowned drivers’ champion for the first time just a few months earlier, albeit in controversial fashion after driving into Damon Hill’s Williams at the season-ending race in Adelaide, Australia.
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Schumacher was driving for Benetton at the time with the model in question looking comfortable in the team’s green and blue overalls, while holding the German icon’s helmet. Whether she’d donned a spare outfit or Schumacher’s exact race suit is unclear, but she turned out to be something of a lucky charm as he went on to win the race and get his title defence off to a perfect start.
David Coulthard’s Williams and the Ferrari of Gerhard Berger filled the other two podium spots while Hill retired out of the lead with a gearbox problem. Schumacher went on to win his second world title with ease before leaving for Ferrari, where he took five further drivers’ titles.
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Schumacher’s health status remains a closely guarded secret almost 10 years on from his devastating skiing accident while on a family holiday in France. His lawyer, Felix Damm, recently explained why so little information about the F1 icon has been made public over the last decade.
“It was always about protecting private things,” Damm told German outlet LTO. “We considered whether a final report about Michael's health could be the right way to do this.
“But that wouldn't have been the end of it and there would have had to be constantly updated ‘water level reports’, and it would not have been up to the family when the media interest in the story stopped.
"They could pick up on such a report again and again and ask: ‘And what does it look like now’, one, two, three months or years after the message. If we then wanted to take action against this reporting, we would have to deal with the argument of voluntary self-disclosure.”
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