Schumacher ‘extremely unlucky’ in accident

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bad luck, not excessive speed, was the cause of Michael Schumacher’s injuries in his skiing accident, says manager Sabine Kehm.


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Michael Schumacher injured by ‘extreme bad luck, not speed’ (The Telegraph)

Kehm: “He helped a friend who had fallen and went into deep snow, hit a rock and was catapulted into the air and landed head down. It was extreme bad luck, not because he was at speed.”

Journalist disguised as priest tried to enter Schumacher’s hospital room (The Guardian)

Kehm: “Apparently a journalist dressed as a priest had tried to gain access to Michael’s room.”

Button: Le Mans not in future plans (Autosport)

“Maybe I will when I drive one of them and drive at Le Mans, because I’d love to drive around the Le Mans circuit in a sportscar, but it’s just having different categories racing together that I am not keen on.”

Tuesday press conference – take 1 (A Former F1 Doc Writes)

“This leads me to insist on just how sick Michael was yesterday. These guys were sweating bullets, doing everything known to man to help, and they deserve a lot of credit. But this was seriously life threatening minute to minute yesterday.”

Michael Schumacher and me (The Independent)

“Ferrari would schedule plenty of slope time for Schumacher and at the end of the week he would contest a slalom race at the top of the Groste slopes. No prizes for guessing the identity of the winner.”


Comment of the day

@GeeMac think the official F1 season review videos need to cater more for the dedicated fans who buy them.

When I started getting into the sport in the early 90s my dad got me the tape of the 1992 season review and the end montage of that has a great little bit of radio conversation between an engineer and Michael Schumacher in which the engineer says something like “ok Michael, for this run we’ve stuck a stiffer rear bar on”. I was only eight at the time but I desperately wanted to know what this meant, so I instantly grabbed an encyclopaedia and tried to work out what he was on about!

That’s the stuff that fans want, that’s the sort of stuff that gets small boys and girls interested, not glamour shots of Singapore at night, we’ve got the Travel Channel for that stuff.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dsob and Michael Hu!

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

Jean-Marc Gounon turns 51 today. The 1989 French Formula Three champion started two races for Minardi at the end of the 1993 season.

The next year he made a trio of starts for the struggling Simtek team after the death of Roland Ratzenberger. Gounon recorded a best finish of ninth at Magny-Cours, four laps down, though points were only awarded to the top six finishers at the time.

This was the team’s best result of the season but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the car when his backing ran out. He went on to race in sports cars and finished second overall (winning the GT1 class) at the 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a McLaren F1 GTR with fellow ex-F1 driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel and Anders Olofsson.

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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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55 comments on “Schumacher ‘extremely unlucky’ in accident”

  1. Everyone, do yourselves a favor and don’t read the comments on that article in the Independent.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, I won’t and I don’t want to know. I have been reading comments as it’s nice to see all the support for Schumi even from people that admit they were no fan of his.

    2. Damn you. I had to know after this, and now im back.

      And very angry.

    3. Thanks for the warning Robyn

  2. If the account in the Telegraph is true then not only the helmet but those G-force developed neck muscles probably saved Michael from an impact that probably would have broken the neck of a less fit person.
    Get well soon Michael.

  3. I hope that journalist gets named. It’s a disgusting thing to do. I would say he should be fired immediately but his bosses probably put him up to it.

    Thanks for keeping us up to date Keith. It’s satisfying my need to come check every twenty minutes or so.

    I do hope the reliability falls a bit, I think it makes races more exciting.

    1. The Yellow Journalism and greed driven Paparazzi is rife with such examples of inhumane and indecent behavior. I really do not desperately want to see indelicate photos of Michael, Greta Garbo or any Kardashian or any other such nonsense. Give people some space and peace, please. Is it no wonder that on occasion celebrities are wont to run over or beat up some members of the Paparazzi?

      1. @bullmello Couldn’t agree more. It’s despicable. privacy in times such as these should be respected no matter the individual involved and those that seek to exploit grief for their own gain should be punished massively.

      2. Well, it only happens because it sells.

      3. Michael Brown (@)
        1st January 2014, 13:54

        Paparazzi is essentially legal stalking

      4. +1. I couldn’t believe it when I first read the story in Guardian and so tweeted it to @keithcollantine to see if he’d heard of it…I honestly thought for a second it might’ve been a parody story, so obscene would it have been in reality. Unfortunately…

        1. @joepa – Right, sounds like something straight out of the Onion. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

  4. @geemac, spot on COTD, we need technical developments we can follow and relate to to get and keep new fans for F1, teenage idol worship and esoteric airflow between the tyre and the chassis is not enough. I am not a fan of the new engine regulations but at this stage I am enthusiastic about the prospect of any potential technical advantage in the power-train. I guess I was lucky to be following F1 in the era when 1.5L na engines reached their zenith and were then supplanted by the 3L engines, 4-6-8-12 and 16 cylinders were all racing in the 60’s, ah bliss.

    1. I happen to like the “glamour” shots of Singapore at night… But then I also like making love to women, too.

      1. Let me add my ??? to that

  5. @f1fanatic, ” in 20 years reliability rates have doubled” and excitment has halved.

    1. I think these are directly related.

  6. That graph on reliability real show how much Parc Ferme increase reliability from 2003 onwards

    1. That definitely appears to be the critical factor. Reliability definitely improved after that. Before that there were ‘qualifying engines’ and such if I remember properly?

      1. Some manufacturers did produce “qualifying only” engines, although not all teams could afford to pay for them.
        As for the switchover, it was in 2004 that the engine manufacturers were obliged to produce engines that lasted for an entire race weekend – the sharp increase from about 2002 onwards in terms of reliability might also have been connected to the increased restrictions on exotic alloys that kicked in around that time.

    2. I really don’t think its that much connected. Far more important IMO is the enormous jump in what can be done by simulation software, non destructive testing of parts and use of statistics and improved procedures in production processes to make sure parts just do not break as often during races.

  7. Regarding that Season Review memory, it’s ironic that the ’92 review was a biased *** too focused on Mansell, made as a result of FOCA handing over the production rights of the review rights to a new 3rd party production team. Still, I’m not sure what they could do with the reviews. I feel sticking on Race commentary would be annoying, because i’m sure the people who buy the review will have heard it before live anyway. You need a new, fresher perspective if you’re seeing footage again, so that’s why I’d like FOM to keep new commentary on it, however they could do with making the commentary a bit more fluid, there’s too much of an obvious delay between the commentator saying something, then the incident happens. They should have it so the incident is happening as the commentator describes it. It’s less wooden then.

    I wonder if the shots of the crowds are there to satisfy some contractual obligation based on the circuits behalf maybe? I know why they do them in the race broadcasts itself, it’s because the fans like seeing themselves in the trackside screens (and the reason I think they stick a long replay of the start in each race too – for the benefit of people at the track watching the screens there), and it would probably cost too much to direct an alternate feed just for the trackside screens.

    1. @fom-fan Regarding the trackside screens, when I went to the US GP I noticed that they’re not identical feeds from what we get on TV, the graphics change a little bit, for example in qualifying there’s no symbol to indicate a driver is on the pits or has finished his lap (that really confused me) and on the race they don’t show the “team radio” graphic either but that makes more sense. But indeed the camera angles remain the same.

      1. Yes, they produce tream-radio free versions of the World Feed. You can see this whenever Sky or the BBC etc. switch to one of their “Pit-wall live” segments as sky seamlessly switch to the team-radio free feed so they don’t get interrupted. If you have say the pitlane channel side-by-side (which includes a vanilla World Feed in an inset) you’ll still see team radio symbols appearing.

  8. The reliability is crazy these days, just amazing!
    With the new ‘power units’ it should change,
    and it will be exciting to see how fast they get on top of this.

    1. Didn’t take long for Audi and other sportscar teams to get their hybrids reliable. For the top class prototypes, there seems to be more danger of smacking into slower cars (as Button suggests) than the car breaking down.
      Although “reliability” at Le Mans means something different – they can fit a new alternator, lose a few laps and send the car back out; you wouldn’t do that in a Grand Prix.

  9. It’s perfectly possible to make 100% reliable engines within the rules, but it’s always a fine balance, which I expect every manufacturer will get wrong, but some more than others of course.

    Given that there will be a freeze in the basic architecture at the end of the year they’ll be aiming more towards performance initially and reliability will be sorted in the long term, at least that’s the way I see it :p

    1. @mantresx, as you say it is, and they should, make 100% reliable engines, at least in the internal combustion mechanical area considering the low rpm and specific power output compared to previous F1 engines, but of course the electrical and computer controlled components will all be new and likely to be fairly buggy in the real racing environment which should provide more than enough uncertainty without the need for silly tyres.
      Oh how I hope we never hear the message “We need to save fuel for the remaining 20 laps.”

    2. If they get above 75% I’ll be impressed, if it drops lower then they really must be pushing for performance pre-freeze.

  10. Sabine saying that Michael was “extremely unlucky” was certainly stating the obvious. From what I’ve read, he wasn’t skiing on a particularly difficult area of the mountain (for an accomplished skier) when he had his spill. A very unfortunate accident in the truest sense of the word. Early days yet, but it’s good to hear that his condition has improved slightly. He’s a strong guy on many levels, and I have high hopes that he will ultimately come back from this injury in fine form.

    1. isn’t that pretty much the definition of an ‘accident?’ But for one minute thing being just a hair’s breadth different or happening a fraction of a second sooner or later and everything would’ve been fine? But…it happens and we’re reminded that even the great robotic Schumacher is really just a vulnerable human being though yes, agree 100% that he is stronger on many levels than the average human, like someone else noted w/ better baseline physical condition, too, and that will certainly aid in recovery.

  11. After all the trauma that Michael’s been through along with his family it’s disgusting to read that an individual would try and photograph him in his most vulnerable state. Especially considering he used the guise of one who’s purpose is to bring comfort and reassurance.
    Shame on that individual and may the full force of the law be brought down upon him! As for Michael himself, at least today brought some small good news. I doubt it brings much solace to his family at this time. However it is far better than any bad news could ever be, and I remain hopeful that my childhood hero can recover fully.

    The thoughts and prayers of millions are with you Michael Schumacher.

    1. Agreed. Disgusting behaviour and I only hope the journalist guilty of this behaviour is sacked and ostracised within his profession.

      1. I echo your sentiments, but also point out that the real shame is that there is a massive tabloid audience out there, without which there would be no market for these types of photos and people’s privacy would be respected. Problem too is that everybody has a pretty good camera and video capability with them at all times now in their Smart phones, so it’s not just about paparazzi any more. Tabloid journalism needs to be taught a lesson through their pocket book…that’s the only answer. People need to stop demanding this crap…need to stop buying it.

  12. 12:01 On January 1st…….

    Bloody Hell Keith. You must have something better to do.

    You legend.

    1. Indeed. was the same on xmas day. If i ever bump into keith, i feel i owe him a few pints !

      1. @vonhoff OK, I’m bookmarking this comment :-)

        1. Do you ever find yourself in essex at all keith ?

  13. I both agree and disagree with the Comment of the Day. On the one hand, there is an over-emphasis on the atmosphere surrounding a Grand Prix, but to suddenly shift focus to the technical side of things would be a mistake. The solution would be a balance between the two: keep the glitter and the glamour to attract the masses, but work in the technical side of things to draw them in further. At the same time, use that technical side of things to appease the hardcore fans, but use the glitter and glamour to keep the larger-than-life aspects of the sport alive and well.

    Style and substance are not mutually exclusive. When balanced right, they can be used to make the subject more than the sum of its parts – and that is when Formula 1 is at it’s best.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys The balance is what I am hoping for, keep a bit of the glitz and the glamour, but also give us a bit more depth on the technical side.

  14. Abdurahman (@)
    1st January 2014, 7:30

    Interesting sentiments from JB. Not up for a real challenge?

    1. I am a bit surprised as well. I’ve always thought that JB would fit pretty well in the endurance world…

      1. Same here. I’m surprised that he’s effectively ruled out endurance racing like this as I always imagined him competing in Le Mans after retiring from F1. Endurance racing suits his qualities as a driver.

    2. Or perhaps the format of the series just simply doesn’t appeal to him, not to mention the ACO’s notorious partisanship.

      After all, the GT classes have been riven by arguments over whether the ACO was right to artificially handicap the Ferrari 458, which was the most fuel efficient car in that class, by aggressively cutting (some say overly aggressively) their fuel allowance to handicap them.

      As for the LMP2 field, the regulations in that class are very restrictive due to the ACO’s insistence that the P2 field remains privateers only – bodywork modifications are explicitly banned, save for a separate single low drag package for Le Mans and the engines have to be modified road car engines (the Nissan VK45DE engine is actually based on the 2002 Infiniti Q45 engine) with an explicit target power output of 450bhp.

      If you move up to the LMP1 class, well, that has been utterly dominated by Audi in recent years, with complaints that Audi’s relationship with the ACO is a little too close for neutrality (for example, Audi paid for the refurbishment of the fans village at the circuit de la Sarthe in return for more expansive advertising rights). Toyota is not competitive right now, and the Porsche entry is viewed by many as more of a re-engined R18 than a truly independent effort (Dr Ullrich has hinted that some “unofficial” technology transfers might have taken place between Audi and Porsche).
      Moreover, there are major complaints about cost escalation in that class too – OAK Racing has already stated that 2014 might be their last season in the P1 class due to rising costs, whilst Audi has explicitly stated that they will not sell their hybrid drive systems to privateers because they don’t think it’ll be economically viable.

      1. Abdurahman (@)
        4th January 2014, 7:15

        uh, yah, but. it’s. LEMANS. What red blooded racing driver does not want to try it out at least once???????

  15. This is the WORST ARTICLE I have read on F1Fanatic all year! Absolutely the worst.

    1. @wpinrui Do you mean the round-up itself or one of the articles in it?

    2. @keithcollantine @wpinrui: I suspect wpinrui is making a bit of fun as it’s the first day of the year.

      1. Indeed!

      2. @xenomorph91 @wpinrui Wow can’t believe I was so slow on the uptake I didn’t work that out!

  16. Michael Schumacher injured by ‘extreme bad luck, not speed’. Is that irony or satire?

  17. Not only the Worst Article but also the Best article all year-thin about it!

  18. Sick of the journalist who did this but for me it’s kind of ironic as I trained as a journalist in university and not being able to find a role I have begun training to enter the ministry myself.

    I saw a tweet by Jeremy Clarkson that gave me some comfort being a Schuey fan. He tweeted about Hammond and his injury and then saying that he went back to normal and that made me smile as reading that gave me fresh hope that Schuey will beat this. This will be his best ever win!

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