Michael Schumacher's home town to be bulldozed, with just 12 people left living in it

8 September 2023, 18:32

Michael Schumacher's hometown is set to be knocked down
Michael Schumacher's hometown is set to be knocked down. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher's home town is set to be razed to the ground, with just a dozen people left living there.

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Kerpen-Manheim, a village outside the city of Cologne, is to be knocked down to make way for the expansion of a huge coal mine.

The bulldozers are set to move in next year to make way for the Hambach mine to grow - despite Germany planning to phase out coal from its energy mix by the end of the decade. Most residents have already been moved out.

Some buildings will remain: the St Albanus and Leonhardus church, the Schumachers' family home and the Erftlandring go-kart track, where the Michael and his fellow racing driver Ralf cut their teeth.

Mine owner RWE has already cut down much of the surrounding forest to make way for the mine, triggering protests by environmentalists.

Read more: Michael Schumacher is a 'case without hope' his friend reveals in tragic update

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Michael and Ralf Schumacher
Michael and Ralf Schumacher. Picture: Getty

Discussing the track, Ralf said: "I was the youth director until recently, but now someone else is doing it, which makes sense because I can’t always be on site.

"But I’m glad that the kart track is still there.

"It has been newly asphalted and parts of it are on land that belongs to me. I live right next door.

"We try to promote young German drivers, which is hard enough in Germany at the moment."

Ralf's brother Michael, widely regarded as the best Formula 1 driver of all time, has not been seen in public after suffering life-threatening injuries in the French Alps in 2013.

The church of St. Albanus and St. Leonhardus
The church of St. Albanus and St. Leonhardus is set to remain. Picture: Getty
The town is set to be knocked down
The town is set to be knocked down. Picture: Getty

After falling and hitting his head on a rock, Schumacher spent 250 days in a medically-induced coma in hospital before being permitted to return home.

Few have seen or visited the seven-time world champion since he suffered his near fatal brain injury, and reports of the German's condition are extremely rare.

F1 journalist Benoit, a close friend of Schumacher's, has claimed the 54-year-old's case is one "without hope" in a tragic health update this week.

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick, Benoit refused to provide a specific update on Schumacher's condition. 

Michael Schumacher was injured while skiing
Michael Schumacher was injured while skiing. Picture: Alamy

When asked, he replied: "No. There is only one answer to this question and that is what his son Mick gave in one of his rare interviews in 2022 - 'I would give anything to talk to Dad'. 

"This sentence says everything about how his father has been doing for over 3,500 days. A case without hope."

Ralf finished 4th and 5th twice each over the course of a ten-year F1 career.