British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has risked causing a big controversy after he commented that "all things happen for a reason" as he spoke about Michael Schumacher's skiing accident.
Hamilton, who was speaking in Melbourne ahead of the season's opening race in Australia this weekend, explained that the accident in Meribel will "really show his character".
Already causing a stir given the wording of his views, the reaction to Hamilton's comments are in stark contrast to those of his former team-mate Felipe Massa who was praised for his touching and heartfelt tribute to Schumacher earlier in the week.
Hamilton's views came on the week that Schumacher's agent reported the 45-year-old was showing "small, encouraging signs" of improvement after the incident on December 29 that left him in an induced coma.
Hamilton, who has been tipped for glory this season in his Mercedes, said: "He's a legend in the sport, you know, who has achieved so much, a very motivated individual.
"So I feel like all things happen for a reason, I think that this is an experience that will really show his character and depth and even more so than any other experiences he's had."
Hamilton, whose views appear to just reflect his religious outlook, may regret expressing his comments in the way he did, despite the fact that he seemed to only want to show his support for the stricken former F1 driver.
However, Hamilton's knack for causing a stir with his comments is regrettable and, even though his remark was undoubtedly a religious-based comment, some may view it as insensitive given Schumacher's struggles.
Is any criticism just political correctness gone mad or should a sports star who has top PR advisers in camp, such as David Beckham's manager Simon Fuller, be a bit wiser with what he says to the media?
Schumacher remains in the University of Grenoble hospital in France, but his family said they are confident he will "pull through and wake up".
Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's agent and spokesperson, has reported that, "we are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and will wake up.
"There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient.
"Michael has suffered severe injuries. It’s very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation.
"It was clear from the start that this will be a long and hard fight for Michael. We are taking this fight on together with the team of doctors, whom we fully trust. The length of the process is not the important part for us.
"It is heartwarming to see how much sympathy his family is shown and I can say that the family is extremely grateful for it. However, it should not be forgotten that Michael’s family is dealing with an extremely intimate and fragile situation."
Doctors had previously told Schumacher's family that "only a miracle" could save the life of the seven-times world champion, according to a report.
Last month, Schumacher's family said they still "strongly believe" in his recovery, adding: "We are aware the wake-up phase can take a long time."
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- Michael Schumacher
- Lewis Hamilton