Formula 1 News

Happy birthday Michael

Michael Schumacher's F1 records

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher turns 46 today. We wish him well.

It’s now over a year since his near-fatal accident on the ski slopes of Meribel in France. According to an interview with Reuters given by his manager, Sabine Kehm, late last year Michael still has “long fight” for recovery.

“We need a long time. It’s going to be a long time and a hard fight,” Kehm added. “He is making progress appropriate to the severity of the situation.”

So let’s take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary numbers Michael achieved during his F1 career, as presented on his personal website, while wishing him well in his ongoing recuperation.

Formula 1 News

“He is not in a coma anymore”

2012 European Grand Prix

A long time has passed since we last had any news on the health of Michael Schumacher. But we’re pleased to report his family brings us an update via a statement published by manager Sabine Kehm. As much as it can be, this is bloody good news:

“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore.

“His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months.

“The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes to Michael. We are sure it helped him.

“For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.”

All the best Michael, all the best.

[Source: Autosport]

Formula 1 News

Finally, some light for Michael Schumacher

2012 European Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher has been showing small signs of inprovement according to his manager Sabine Kehm. Although, the Formula 1 great still has a long way to go in his recovery following head injuries suffered after a ski accident in late December.

“There are short moments of consciousness and he is showing small signs of progress,” Kehm revealed in an interview with German broadcaster ARD. “There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious.

“Of course I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings.

“I don’t want to disclose details out of respect for the family, but we have no doubt at all in the abilities of the doctors treating Michael, they are experts in their field.”

And in a reminder to media and news outlets, including AUSmotive, Kehm shared some thoughts from Michael’s family.

“What upsets the family most is media quoting doctors who are not treating Michael and untruths are constructed from these,” said Kehm. “It has been a problem when outsiders comment and it means we have to set the record straight, even when we don’t want to.”

[Source: Fox Sports]

Formula 1 News

Bringing Michael home

Michael Schumacher

Preparations are being made to bring Michael Schumacher home. Sadly this appears to be a sign of acceptance, rather than new hope.

It’s being reported that Michael’s wife, Corinna, is coordinating the building of a multi-million dollar dedicated medical suite to care for Michael at their Lake Geneva home in Switzerland.

An unamed family friend has been quoted as saying: “Miracles happen, of course, and as a wealthy man he has the best care money can buy.

“But all the money in the world cannot fix what has happened to him. The family are making arrangements for a future of permanent immobility.”

[Source: Yahoo UK]

Formula 1 News

Reports say “miracle” needed for Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Several media outlets are reporting that doctors treating Michael Schumacher have told his family “only a miracle” can save him. Although respected former F1 doctor Gary Hartstein rejects claims doctors would use such a term.

In his blog Hartstein states: “Doctors, no matter their spiritual bent, do NOT talk to patient’s families about miracles saving anyone. Ever. From a practical viewpoint, this gives a patient’s family absolutely NO useful information on which to act.”

Officially, Schumcher’s publicist Sabine Kehm released a statement on Friday which read in part: “Michael is still in a wake up phase, the situation has not altered.”

Alas, that line of response from Kehm for too long now, perhaps that’s as much a tactic to try and get the media to give Schumacher’s family some space as it keeping his fans up to date. However, hopes for Michael achieving a full recovery after his skiing accident on 29 December 2013 must surely be very faint now.

Hartstein concluded his thoughts by saying: “And again, despite a day during which we’ve been told Michael is breathing on his own AND that it would take a miracle to save him, we know nothing more than we knew yesterday or the day before.”

[Source: SMH & Former F1 doc | Pic: Mercedes AMG]

Formula 1 News

No criminal wrongdoing in Schumacher ski fall

Michael Schumacher

Prosecutors in France investigating the Michael Schumacher skiing accident have found no party is criminally responsible for the seven-time F1 world champion’s fall.

“No infraction by anyone has been turned up,” French prosecutor Patrick Quincy said in a media conference yesterday. This rules out any suggested fault from the Mirebel ski resort or any equipment manufacturer.

The case looking into Schumacher’s accident is now closed and the official report stated in part: “There were no breaches by anybody. The accident occurred in an off-piste zone. The signage, marking, staking and information provided about the edges of this slope adhere to French norms in place.”

The report said Schumacher hit a rock off the marked ski run and then hit the right side of his head on another rock a further 10.4m away. Both rocks were more than 4m off-piste investigators found.

Schumacher remains under strict medical supervision while doctors slowly ease him out of an induced coma. His family is keeping reports of his progress confidential for now, although it’s understood a full prognosis on Shumacher’s health could still be months away.

[Source: Deutsche Welle]

Formula 1 News

Michael Schumacher starts waking up process

2012 European Grand Prix

One month after his skiing accident, the first real signs of progress in Michael Schumacher’s recovery have begun.

Michael’s PR spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement: “Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take long time. For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated.”

French newspaper L’Equipe reported earlier this week that doctors started to slowly to reduce Schumacher’s sedation on Monday while monitoring his progress though a program of neurological tests. While not officially confirmed by Michael’s management it’s been reported the seven-time F1 world champion has “responded positively” to the tests.

Although, this could be considered good news a final prognosis on the result of Schumacher’s condition could still be a few months away. The time taken to ease Michael out of his induced coma could take days or even weeks.

[Source: The Guardian]

Formula 1 News

Sebastian Vettel praying for Schumacher miracle

Sebastian Vettel

Speaking to reporters in Jerez Sebastian Vettel says he is praying for Michael Schumacher, following the seven-time world champion’s skiing accident in France late last year.

“We still don’t know what shape he will be in when he wakes up,” Vettel said. “I pray and hope he will come back and the miracle will happen and he will be the person he was before.”

While Vettel was growing up Michael was winning world championships for fun and when they ultimately raced against each other, during Michael’s comeback with Mercedes, the young charge formed a bond with his idol.

“I have known him for a long time. I have been looking up to him all my life,” Sebastian said. “I got to know him a little bit more when he did his comeback. He became a friend. We spoke to each other regularly.”

Vettel added that his thoughts are also with Schumacher’s family as they endure this prolonged period of uncertainty.

“It’s horrible, especially for his family and close friends, not knowing what is going to happen,” Vettel said.

[Source: BBC | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1 News

Long road ahead for Michael

2012 European Grand Prix

In the first official update on Michael Schumacher for almost two weeks his manager Sabine Kehm says the 45-year-old’s condition remains “stable”. In what may be interpreted as a positive sign, for the first time since his accident on 29 December, his status is no longer being described as critical.

Kehm’s latest statement noted: “Michael’s family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael, and they trust them completely. Michael’s condition is still considered as stable.”

German media has been speculating on what the long-term future might be like for Michael. And while it’s not coming from any official source or direct connection to Schumacher or his doctors it doesn’t make for pretty reading.

Some reports suggest Michael may never awake from his coma, while another sought input from neurosurgeon Dr Richard Greenwood from the University College London Hospital.

Dr Greenwood has been quoted as saying: “If Schumacher survives, he will not be Schumacher. He will be [Joe] Bloggs. His rehabilitation will only be effective if he comes to terms with being Bloggs.

“That is a very, very hard process to take people through. They need to come to terms with their limitations — the fact they have changed.”

In response to increasing speculation Sabine Kehm reiterated: “Any information regarding Michael’s health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as pure speculation.”

[Source: abc News & The Independent | Pic: Mercedes AMG]

Formula 1 News

Excessive speed not a factor in Schumacher accident

2012 European Grand Prix

French investigators have studied a helmet-mounted camera worn by Michael Schumacher and discovered reckless speed was not the cause of his accident.

“We know precisely what path Schumacher was skiing along,” said Public prosecutor Patrick Quincy. “We will be able to say with as much precision as is ever possible, how the accident came about.”

Based on the footage the investigators have said Michael was approximately 8m from the groomed trail and he hit a rock, which caused him to fall.

“We cannot recognise [from the footage] that he was traveling at a particularly high speed,” police commander Stephane Bozon said. He later commented that Schumacher was moving “at the standard speed of an experience skier.”

Meanwhile, Michael remains in an induced coma and in a critical condition. We all hope Michael will resume full fitness, but if he does it will take a long time.

Michael’s wife, Corinna, has asked the media pack outside the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble for privacy.

“It is important for me that you take the pressure off the doctors and the hospital, so that they can work in peace,” she said. “Please trust their statements and leave the clinic. Please leave our family in peace, too.”

[Source: Deutsche Welle | Pic: Mercedes AMG]

Ferrari Formula 1 News

Schumacher fans pay tribute at Grenoble hospital

Fans pay tribute to Michael Schumacher

A large group of Ferrari fans have held vigil outside the Grenoble hospital where seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher remains in a medically induced coma.

Here’s a selection of images showing the fans’ tribute which took place yesterday, Schumacher’s 45th birthday.

It’s also emerged that Schumacher was wearing a helmet camera at the time of his accident and the family has handed the device to investigators. Michael’s teenage son, who witnessed the fall, has also been interviewed.

[Pics: AP, Getty Images, Reuters]

Formula 1 News

Best wishes to Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Today is Michael Schumacher’s birthday. He turns 45 and is still fighting for his life after a skiing accident near Meribel in France last Sunday. We pass on our best wishes and thoughts to Michael and his family and hope that he is able to achieve a full and speedy recovery.

Michael’s family has put a covering message on his official website which reads:

Thank you for your support

Following Michael’s sking 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

Latest reports confirm Michael remains in an induced coma. Since being admitted to hospital in Grenoble he has undergone two operations to alleviate bleeding and pressure on his brain.

We recommend further reading from David Coulthard and former F1 doctor Gary Hartstein (including this follow up piece).

[Source: SMH | Pic: Reuters]