Fan outrage as Mercedes drop Michael Schumacher tribute from Formula One cars
The Mercedes Formula One team have removed a tribute message to stricken star Michael Schumacher from their cars.
The "KeepFightingMichael" hashtag won't feature on the Mercedes livery when the 2017 championship starts in Melbourne on March 26.
Mercedes, the last of Schumacher's three teams, have featured the message on their cars since the seven-time world champion was severely injured in a 2013 skiing crash.
A Mercedes team spokesman explained to German newspaper Bild: "It was removed to free the way for future usage of the message.
"Now, 'Keep Fighting' is an initiative founded at the end of 2016 to encourage people based on Michael's legendary fighting spirit. Mercedes and the family of Michael Schumacher will work together on a variety of common activities, which will be communicated in time."
The hastag is derived from Schumacher's 2007 quote as he applauded Kimi Raikkonen's remarkable world championship drive for Ferrari, saying: "I've always believed that you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there's only a slightest chance."
Some of Schumachers army of fans aren't happy with the development.
Schumacher's health condition remains a mystery.
He suffered head injuries that left him in a coma though he emerged from that in 2014 and is now being cared for at a facility at his Swiss home.