Tributes pour in as Schumacher fights for his life

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Major figures from the motor racing world and beyond express their concern for Michael Schumacher as he remains in intensive care following his skiing accident in France.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Thank you for your support (Michael Schumacher)

Message from Schumacher’s family: “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.”

Michael Schumacher: disaster lurked in the pristine Alpine resort of Meribel (The Guardian)

“After the impact, Schumacher was conscious but “stunned’, neurosurgeon Stephan Chabardes told a news conference at the hospital on Monday. ‘He didn’t respond to questions after the accident. He didn’t have a normal neurological reaction’.”

The Monday Press Conference (A Former F1 Doc Writes)

“This press conference was rather more reassuring than what I expected. I’ll admit that I feared an announcement of a second operation for persistently elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), and the fact that that’s not been needed is good.”

Injuries could take days to ‘reach peak’ (ESPN)

“[Schumacher] received probably the best possible care that you could imagine in the circumstances. He had the brain injury and within minutes a team of medics were there and they airlifted him to hospital. Within half an hour he was assessed and being flown to the neurological unit in Grenoble.”

Statement on Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)

“We have been shocked to learn that he is in a critical condition and are closely monitoring the latest medical bulletins from Grenoble.”

Michael in everyone’s thoughts at Ferrari (Ferrari)

“Everyone at Ferrari has been in a state of anxiety since hearing about Michael Schumacher’s accident. That includes the president, Luca di Montezemolo, who through the Scuderia team principal Stefano Domenicali is in constant contact with the family and those close to the German champion.”

Brundle and Hill hope for Schumi (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “Michael’s accident is distressing and a great shock, and we have to be very concerned about his chances of survival and return to full health. From what we are told it looks very serious indeed, and we can only hope for the best along with his lovely family.”

Lauda: Reliability key to 2014 title (Autosport)

“Next year is not speed, it is reliability. It is what we all have to work for.”

Toro Rosso Factory Tour – Video & Images (ScarbsF1)

“Toro Rosso have released a YouTube video of a complete factory tour. Both informative and in depth, the video shows us some detail of the car we do not usually get to see.”

Nelson Piquet drives the Brabham BT52 at Goodwood (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)


Comment of the day

@Dragoll was one of many people to express their deep concern over Schumacher’s condition and I’m sure speaks for many of us at this time:

I am deeply saddened by the news of Schumacher’s accident.

I have always been a Schumacher fan since he appeared for Jordan at Spa in 1991, so it troubles me greatly that he in a coma and fighting for his life. These feelings are exactly the same as how I felt when Karl Wendlinger was put into an induced coma after a crash in Monaco coming out of the tunnel. I sincerely wish that Schumacher can pull through this, just as Wendlinger did back then.

The saddest part of this, is that his birthday is around the corner, he will be 45 on the 3rd January. I hope to see him celebrate that milestone, plus many more years.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alvink!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Three years ago today I ran an interview with Cosworth’s then-business manager Mark Gallagher, who had the following to say about the new engine rules which were being planned at the time and are now being implemented in time for next season:

What Cosworth wanted to see from the negotiations wasn’t a specific engine but a specific economic model that would make it possible for an independent engine supplier to afford to develop a competitive engine that would be affordable to our customers.

The fact that Cosworth are no longer supplying engines rather suggests that was not achieved. Sadly, one of Formula One’s most successful engine manufacturers has now left the sport.

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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52 comments on “Tributes pour in as Schumacher fights for his life”

  1. I hope schumi gets well soon, if the swelling of the brain continues he is going to be in unfortunately bad pain. I hope the 7 time world champion gets well soon. Nice of the f1 racers themselves to chip in and show there support

    1. I would suspect he’s intubated, ventilated and sedated, so I suspect he won’t be feeling anything right now.

    2. Nice of the F1 racers to chip in…, well if you ask me they’re almost obligated to say what they say… It’s common manners in my book. (:
      Anyway just hope to hear something positive from the hospital, the sooner the better. Get well soon Michael <3

      1. Can’t see any comment from vettel as of yet though!!! And whilst many have paid compliments and wished him well, many have remained silent for now.

        1. Vettel does not use social media, he probably just phoned the family.. So much better than the ‘look at me caring, I am so awesome’ usual twitter posts we see from most.. Lol@social media & the type of people it appeals to. No really, LOL!

  2. Gary Hartstein is saying a lot at the moment. Although he’s well qualified to comment, there is comparatively little information in the public sphere at the moment so I’m still very wary. Without knowing the minutiae of Schumacher’s condition and neurological state, it’s hard for any observers to make objective views.

    I see enough of this to know that we in the public are playing a waiting game and we should really only rely on the official press releases from the family or hospital.

    1. @mouse_nightshirt he’s still a lot more qualified to bring an opinion than the regular sports journalist that from one day to the other knows how neurological damage is treated.

      His views are very interesting to read.

      1. Gary Hartstein is saying a lot at the moment.

        good bringing this to attention of folks, @mouse_nightshirt.

        he’s still a lot more qualified to bring an opinion than the regular sports journalist

        and @fer-no65, having interacted directly w/ Gary yesterday on this very topic, I can say that he is for sure also making very clear that his commentary is generalized and shouldn’t be relied upon for more than basic knowledge, since he (specifically noted he) lacks clinical access.

        @joepabike @thejudge13 But need info and clinical contact. Otherwise towards end of the week— Gary Hartstein (@former_f1doc) December 30, 2013

        All in all a valuable source of insight for us laymen.

    2. His views are all quite general at the moment, its more like he is trying to educate us as to what usually happens in these situations and to decode the technical speak form the doctors. He’s been quite helpful I think, I like many don’t have any idea about these sorts of injuries so any information is welcome.

  3. I’ve seen Dutch experts speak out on Schumacher’s situation and the fact he wasn’t able to answer normal questions and was lacking normal neurological responses doesn’t bode well for him. It has been suggested this means his brains were already damaged by then.

    Terrible, especially after we’ve seen his more humane side during his comeback instead of the all-conquering robot he used to be, this really upset me as a fan of his and Formula 1 in general.

    1. @roald – I’m a little bemused that they are commenting on it, considering that they are not his doctors and have no access to his case file. And if they did, no professional doctor would ever publicly comment on the intimate details of a patient’s condition like that. Schumacher’s doctors will not commit to a prognosis because they evidently do not have enough information to do so, and they need to keep him under further observation for the time being. So I am bemused as to how these “experts” are in any position to comment on Schumacher’s condition at all.

      So in all honesty, I would be questioning whether these experts are even experts at all.

    2. I agree with the sentiment of your last paragraph. I really warmed to Schumacher during his comeback, even though he wasn’t particularly successful. I’m actually quite afraid of going to bed and waking up to read that he’s gone. I would miss him enormously.

      Get well, Schumi!

    3. Is a funny point. When I first read about his accident and that he was concious I was hoping it wouldn´t be anything dangerous. But it seem that is a lot worst than we know.

      I thing we as fans gave Michael for granted, sometimes making fun and belittle him in his comeback. But he is a great sportman and a compassion person. I really hope for the best and that we can have him as the super star getting the respect he deserves.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    31st December 2013, 0:51

    He must have really hit his head incredibly hard! To be wearing a ski helmet and still suffer serious trauma to the head is not easy to do.

    Hoping for the best Schumi!

  5. It was heartwarming to read those tributes, although I wouldn’t expect anything less. This is a time when the whole world of motorsport comes together and it always brilliant to see.

  6. After all the fuss about Lewis Hamilton’s tweet yesterday (and Keith featuring it), we get a decent tweet from L.H and Keith features it. People will moan about anything nowadays !

    1. It drew a wry smile from me seeing LH talking about singing (or not) after a deluge of well-wishers, even though i was quickly aware of the times etc. I wasnt bothered by it, but i suppose there was a certain dry, black humour to be found in it all.

      But some people went off the deep-end about it yes.

    2. I merely thought it should be highlighted and have preferably had it’s placement changed to the top of the tweets pile, which would have prevented any misinterpretations (as I’m sure most people took two looks when they saw it).

      1. I merely thought it should be highlighted and have preferably had it’s placement changed to the top of the tweets pile, which would have prevented any misinterpretations (as I’m sure most people took two looks when they saw it).

        @vettel1 – can’t believe i’m about to say this, but fair is fair: and I agree w/ you. @fer-no65

  7. Has there been any word about when there will be another update from his medical team?

    1. I think no news is good news at this stage, it will be at least a few days possibly weeks I would think before they could tell us anything new.

      1. I’m not sure people would be able to handle not hearing anything for that long. And by “people” I mean “me.” :-/

    2. They will give an update when there is something to tell. It is impossible to predict when that will be, but I would not expect anything any time soon – this is not the kind of injury you recover from quickly.

    3. @aka-robyn BBC News said last night there would be a press conference at 12 (presumably GMT) today to update everyone about his progress.

      1. Thank you!

  8. Been watching all the star wars movies today to try and distract myself from worrying about him (but still been checking every 10 mins for any updates so didn’t really work).

    May the force be with him and heal him. Think everyone is so taken aback by this, we perhaps believe great men like Schumi are invincible, so really hard to grip that he could be injured so badly.

    1. Even my boyfriend, who is no way an F1 fan and usually moans at me for being so obsessed with F1, is very upset by this and keeps asking if there is any news and was understanding when I cried. Crazy how emotionally invested we become to these drivers that we perhaps have never even met but feel like we know them, anyway going to try and sleep now.

      1. Mu friends,none of them F1 fan, text me telling me how sorry they are about him and how they hope he improve…Michael is beyond F1

  9. The comments at the end of the Guaridan article over the adoption of skiing helmets give me an immense sense of relief, as had that not been the case we would have lost the most successful man ever to grace the sport of F1.

    I hope this event acts as an example in general circles about the importance of safety equipment and that however uncool it may look, if it saves your life you wouldn’t be complaining.

    1. Thats so true. In New Zealand the other day some silly women was on TV complaining about NZ’s “Draconian” laws that require all push bike riders to wear a helmet. She complained that it messwith her hair and didnt go with her clothes ( she was being completely serious) She tried to argue that its perfectly safe to ride with out a helmet provided you dont go too fast and stay on the bike lanes, and that you only need one if your riding on the road. There are a lot of Europeans who get fines for not wearing helmets when visiting NZ, they bitch an moan. But who has to pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong.

      Well like any safety equipment, its perfectly safe to not use it until something goes wrong.
      You only have one head!

      God’s speed Michael

      1. This artile from the BBC, “how dangerous is a blow to the head” is really interesting.

        I think helmets on push bikes should be mandatory, if you hit the road with your head it could well kill you. Schumacher has been given a chance of fighting by his helmet.

        I had warmed to him when he drove for Merc, wasn’t a fan first time around, but we did finally see the real person. Hopefully he’s going to stabilise, and then it may be a long road ahead, he’ll have the whole f1 comm supporting him which ain’t no bad thing.

        Here is hoping.

      2. In Oz we had the bike helmet messes the hair argument 20 odd years ago. I am surprised NZ are that behind. I bet helmets in winter recreational activities will be the next thing the government thinks about. Got to say I am for it. Now me thinks Schumacher will pull through the only side effect is that he has developed a taste for something strange and will come back to F1 as a driver because it is safer.

        1. New Zealand and Australia are the only two countries with all age compulsary bike helmets. NZ introduced it in 1994.
          There are loby groups who argue it should be optional. But the problem is Cyclists dont pay Registration in NZ or OZ and thus dont contribute to ACC (NZ) or TAC (AU) so the medical costs are bourne wholy by the tax payer with the cylcists not contributing.

    2. I’ve ridden motorbikes most of my adult life @vettel1. I wouldn’t get on one without a helmet, even if it wasn’t compulsory in the UK. I don’t even like cycling without wearing a helmet. If cycling helmets become compulsory in the UK I’ll be fully supportive.

      As @theoddkiwi said, you’ve only got one head. Riding bikes, and participating in any sport where there is a risk of head injuries, is dangerous enough without asking to end up with your skull caved in.

      I have no patience with people who argue that compulsory head protection infringes their freedom, messes up their hair (oh boy) or otherwise annoys them. If people expect society to deal with any health issues they might have, they should at least try to minimise the cost to society by behaving responsibly.

      And I hope Schumi pulls through. What a bummer of an end to the year.

  10. I’m surprised to see how open Toro Rosso was in that factory tour, many teams wouldn’t even show the wallpapers of their computers but here we see real CFD and stress simulations, an actual wind tunnel model and all the parts of the suspension with great detail.
    I guess they understood there’s no point in hiding them anymore given the new regulations. Also, does Toro Rosso have the smallest factory? I always thought Force India did but now I’m not sure…

    1. @mantresx I guess that is RedBull’s way of announcing to the world that Scuderia Toro Rosso is up for grabs. On a serious note this video has shown so much of real things as you said which is a welcome move from a team.

      1. @seahorse

        TR has been for sale ever since RB bought it in 2005. I hope they are bought by someone else as it stops RB from abusing the system. I have zero respect for TR. Any team that says that their aim in life is to provide drivers for another team instead of winning races is wrong.

        1. That’s part of my reason for never really warming to STR, they aren’t really on the grid to win races like everyone else, though they have of course. If Red Bull had bought the team, kept the Minardi name, run them as a Red Bull sponsored team and then put their junior drovers in the seats I think much of the goodwill that they intended to keep from still having the team based in Faenza would have stayed with them. It wouldn’t have made an ounce of difference to the state of affairs but it would have given the squad a bit of soul.

          1. Imagine seeing the name Minardi on the winners rostrum at Monza 2008!

  11. Come on Michael, Everyone is behind you, Get well soon. Our thoughts are with you.

  12. @keithcollantine Thank you for the COTD, it was unexpected. However, forgive me if I don’t take any joy from it.
    I believe that the longer Michael is fighting the better his chances, so I don’t mind the slow release of information from the hospital.
    I’m looking at the Sauber tweet and am finding it very difficult atm.

  13. Well , what to say . I have been away from this forum for some time now and when I return , I see this !!

    I hope he returns after a good recovery .I was digging up some schumacher videos and found this interview from Canada . Yearning for more of this from him in the coming years .

  14. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    31st December 2013, 9:37

    DC just wrote an article recognising that it took this tragedy for Michael to finally get the credit he deserves and it’s true (which is really quite sad). I think we should all take note- particularly those who boo Seb or those who make jokes about Massa despite his massive battle to even be on the grid again.

    1. +1, it’s a great article and a great insight of the relationship between Michael and DC. Puts DC in a better light as well. It’s great to see that after all their differences on track, DC can be objective and shine a better light on Michael as both a human being and a racing driver. The article can be found in the telegraph, for those who want a good and quite touching read.

      1. Speaking for myself personally, I have spent the time of MS’s tenure in F1 as a non-fan, for reasons that don’t need mentioning right now, and that DC hints at in his article.

        I don’t see myself changing my stance and becoming a fan of his career because of this terrible accident, but that doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t go out to MS the family man, and all his family and friends and supporters and admirers. I only wish him a full and speedy recovery.

  15. BBC latest says there has been some improvement in Micheal’s condition, but not details yet (more to follow)

  16. c’mon Schumi :'(

  17. I cant believe yet believe this has happened. Im kind of like in a state of denial since yesterday… Ive got so much inspiration from this legend in my life. I hope he pulls through and comes out smiling as always..

  18. My thoughts are with Michael and his Family for healing & optimism as this unfortunate saga unfolds…..

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