Ferrari's Planned Michael Schumacher Vigil Is Well-Intentioned but Wrong

Fraser MasefieldContributor IJanuary 2, 2014

Schumacher remains in a critical condition
Schumacher remains in a critical conditionClive Mason/Getty Images

Ferrari have planned to celebrate Michael Schumacher’s birthday on Friday by staging a vigil outside his Grenoble hospital in France.

Schumacher remains in a critical condition following a serious skiing accident sustained at the Meribel resort on Sunday.

Autosport reported on Thursday afternoon that Ferrari’s official Facebook page urged fans of the German to turn up wearing the red of Ferrari outside the hospital.

In these difficult days and on the occasion of his birthday the SCUDERIA FERRARI CLUBS want to show their support for MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, organising tomorrow a silent and respectful event all in red at the Grenoble University Hospital Centre. Do you want to participate? Find the Club closest to you and contact it for further information!

The gesture is, of course, well intentioned, but it appears that a lack of thought went into this Facebook post, and I would be astonished if it goes ahead on safety grounds.

The hospital in Grenoble is one of the busiest at this time of the year and has to cope with numerous emergencies on a daily basis due to injuries on the slopes.

Time is of the essence in rushing casualties into theatre and minutes can often be the difference between life and death.

Schumacher is an icon of the sporting world and such an open invitation on the biggest team in the sport’s official Facebook page could lead to hundreds, if not thousands, of fans turning up outside the hospital. It appears to be a recipe for disaster.

At the time of writing, the invite remains on the Facebook page, but surely the most thoughtful and respectful way of showing support for the seven-time world champion is simply to send messages of goodwill on social networking accounts.

Schumacher’s family have already thanked fans for sending such messages via a statement on his official website, which read:

Following Michael's skiing accident, we would like to thank the people from all around the world who have expressed their sympathy and sent their best wishes for his recovery. They are giving us great support. We all know he is a fighter and will not give up. Thank you.

Out of respect for other individuals who will be rushed to intensive care over the next few days, sending simple messages of goodwill is surely the most appropriate way of showing support.