Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Monaco, 2013

Ferrari plan birthday tribute for Schumacher

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Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari plan a tribute for Michael Schumacher who remains in an artificial coma on his 45th birthday.


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

Motor racing-Ferrari fans plan red vigil for Schumacher (Reuters)

“Ferrari fans will hold a silent 45th birthday tribute to Michael Schumacher outside his French hospital on Friday with the seven times Formula One world champion in a coma and fighting for his life after a skiing accident.”

Michael Schumacher’s manager to be interviewed about skiing accident (The Guardian)

“French investigators examining the exact cause of Formula One former champion Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident intend to interview the driver’s manager over the coming days, according to the lead prosecutor.”

Schumacher remains stable but critical in hospital (The Telegraph)

“The German racing great remained in an induced coma and a critical condition, with his wife Corinna, 16-year-old daughter Gina-Maria and 14-year-old son Mick at his bedside in the French Alpine city of Grenoble.”

Magnussen: I can emulate Hamilton (Autosport)

“He [Hamilton] had great success at McLaren arriving there as a rookie and it is definitely possible to do.”

Happy New Year – Five things to look forward to in 2014 (F1)

“Double points in Abu Dhabi… Whether you love or loathe the idea, it?s impossible to believe that there won?t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing.”


Comment of the day

To the ten things we want to know about the 2014 season, @Roodda adds an eleventh:

Another thing we would like to know is how long will F1 continue with DRS?

The purists know it should be on borrowed time, but so many clowns are in decision making positions that I am quite worried we will have another year of gimme overtakes.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ajokay and Coefficient!

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

Today is Michael Schumacher’s birthday. The seven-times world champion turns 45, and I’m sure all F1 Fanatic readers will join me in wishing him a swift and full recovery from his recent skiing accident.

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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  • 51 comments on “Ferrari plan birthday tribute for Schumacher”

    1. Let’s be positive, and Michael will be well alive and kicking for the birthday 46th… or much before, the sooner the better.
      not really a fan of him, but I respect the human side on Michael. Forza Schum!!!

      1. Agreed. Also not an F1 fan of his, but Michael Schumacher is a fellow human being, and he and his family are people trying to make it through this thing we call life, just like the rest of us. Prayers for his recovery and for his family and friends.

    2. A silent birthday tribute for somebody who is still alive, outside their hospital, just sounds a bit morbid and ominous to me.

      1. Was thinking the exact same thing, plus the “special tribute” doesn’t help at all … It should be quite suffocating for the family to have so many people around, that should be a private and intimate moment but isn’t.

        A written message is good enough to show and express your thoughts without bothering …

      2. It’s also getting in the way of the functioning of the hospital. I wish Ferrari had organised some kind of online tribute instead: perhaps a site where fans could upload messages and pictures or something.

    3. People complained when Schumi came back about ‘tainting his heritage’ – but if you look at the support he gets…
      Unfortunately heritage does nothing for your health.

    4. Whether you love or loathe the idea, it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing

      So even if I loathe doubles points, it’ll categorically be a good thing? Wow, thanks for clearing that up! And there was me thinking that because the idea was awful, it would actually be awful. Shows what I know.

      1. Yep, really feel like “relieving some frustration” over the double points debacle on the author of that article right now.

      2. New idea – each team should have a “joker” card which they can play at any race of the year. The team would then get double the number of points earned in the race. If they want to wait till Abu Dhabi, all well and fine, but I suspect most of them probably wouldn’t.

      3. Whether you love or loathe the idea, it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing

        was it intended for championship battle, or just ‘additional intensity to the racing’ ?
        man, the whole thinking process of FIA and FOM are really bad

      4. Why so many people having a go at that article? It’s from the official F1 site, so it was obvious they were not going to bash it like any diehard fan would, at least they acknowledge the fact that it’s not a popular idea.

        1. Why so many people having a go at that article?

          Because it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s from the official F1 site or an independent blog.

          Imagine that the politicians of your country instead of representing your interests come up with another really bad legislation. To add insult to the injury they come up with some ridiculous justifications. Sure, that’s expected, but it is still BS. Won’t you have a go at them?

          1. If only…
            But here we are, comfortable behind our pc’s, tv’s and smartphones while the EUSSR takes over.

          2. Imagine that the politicians of your country instead of representing your interests come up with another really bad legislation

            No need to imagine – that’s reality.

        2. We’re having a go because it sounds weasely trying so hard not to admit that it’s terrible.

    5. Double points hype or reality? “Whether you love or loathe the idea, it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing.”
      I call hype, because if there is any more intensity going into turn 1 than in any other F1 race, cars will be flying off the track and mass quantities of carbon fiber will litter the track. Will a needed safety car add more intensity? Will double points intensify the competitiveness of cars and drivers? Can drivers race any closer to each other without more wheel banging than they do already? Would straight out demo derby competition bring more intensity to F1? Do teams and drivers have such little will to win any given race that double points are needed to remind them of what they are already supposed to be doing?

      This whole double points notion to improve racing intensity is more artificial than DRS.

      1. Also, this quote coming directly from the F1 official site, they trying very hard to sell it. Bleh!

    6. “Double points in Abu Dhabi… Whether you love or loathe the idea, it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing.”

      It’d also be “intense” if the crowd watched the race inside the track, rally style… and that doesn’t mean they should do it.

      Also, it’s hard to think about things that wouldn’t make the Abu Dhabi GP any worse than it currently is… so, yeah, F1, you’ve made 3 things wrong: having a race at Abu Dhabi, putting it as season finale, giving twice the points there.

      Talk about bright ideas !

    7. Happy Birthday Michael. I know there’s one gift we’d all like to give.

      About the double points from F1.com:

      Whether the championship is on the line or not, there’s no doubt that added significance has been given to the final round of the 2014 title race in Abu Dhabi thanks to a new rule which will award drivers and teams double points for that Grand Prix, and that Grand Prix alone. Whether you love or loathe the idea, it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing.

      I wouldn’t say this is true. Sure, there is still a lot on the table after the WDC has been one, but even the biggest F1Fanatic would prefer a championship battle during the final race over a really exciting battle for 3rd in the standings. I’m also not sure the person who typed this saw the irony in saying it’s a good thing intensity has been added to the final race in general, especially at Abu Dhabi.

    8. For a man of Michael’s means, being an expert skier with a home nearby as well, his using rental gear seems awfully strange to me. Chilling to think that equipment failure, or his unfamiliarity with it (easy to draw an F1 comparison) could have been a factor in his terrible spill.

      1. I can only imagine that its easier to rent top quality gear in a resort than lug it around and keep it updated regularly @schooner. Him choosing to use equipment he is not comfortable with seems to me to be quite a bit out of character for Schumacher

        1. A few comments.

          You can rent top of the range slalom ski’s in the resorts in the alps and have your choice
          of manufacturers. I out of choice leave my skis at home and rent the new seasons top of the line equipment that come in perfect nick and serviced for you. If I had his resources I would also rent skis and always choose the same type once I had settled on a favourite.

          I’m a good skier, and been in the area a long time ago — skied the Grand Couloir in Courcheval many times back in ’92 with 205cm Elan RC slalom skis — back when skiing was hard and definitely predating carving skis!

          Grand Couloir is other side of same summit from Couloir Tournier which Schumacher and party had just descended. Both are very steep narrow, almost 40 degrees — and at the limit of what even the insane can call a “piste” (though the ridge you use to get to them is scarier than the runs — the French resorts are crazy about not putting up safety netting compared to Austria or any other country — the attitude being “it is the high mountains, what did you expect” )

          For comparison a typical olympic grade slalom black run would be in the 35 degree range, and
          not be bordered by rock faces…. The Couloir Tournier although “on-piste” is sufficiently extreme that any where else in the world it would be an “off piste”, “itinerary”, or “back country” run. These runs are comparable or beyond the “back corries” at Nevis Range in the UK which involve jumping off a cornice to get into. On such steep slopes, you can still pick up good speed even in deep snow and “hydroplane” easily to the surface.

          A red run lies in the range 15-22 degrees, and a blue below around 15 degrees.

          Schumacher and party were claimed to have descended the Couloir successfully, and having finished met with the more normal pistes La Biche and Maudit which split from each other below the exit from the couloir. Here the gradient has significantly lessened greatly, and is what average skiers would recognise as a piste.

          From the tracks on the daily mirror photo of the scene it looks like the accident happened in
          relatively low angle “near piste” region. The sort of near piste detour someone a bit bored with cruising a pisted blue might hop into to sniff out some deeper snow to skim through.

          However, going through deeper snow is intrinsically SLOWER than blasting hard packed pisted
          snow. From what I can see of angle, the tracks and given this was deeper snow I don’t think he could have got up that much speed. The tracks don’t curve across the fall line much, and look like the kind of fairly direct, small bend zig zag I would lay if struggling to get or maintain enough speed to really float in the snow.

          My point from all this: I do NOT believe for a minute he was going at something like 50mph.

          You have to try quite hard to hit that on a blue slope gradient staying on hardpack and going pretty straight let alone wading through the deeper snow he was on.

          That said, I’d like to believe that no way in hell would I have ventured in among those rocks…

          1. Thanks for chipping in with more knowledge of skiing @boylep6. You confirmed what I thought about renting top notch ski’s.
            And I would guess that the accounts of Schumi going there because he wanted to help a friend (daughter of a friend) who had fallen would explain why venture over there.

            1. His spokeswoman Sabine Kemp claimed he helped the young lady on piste, and then skied off piste afterwards. Her point was that he couldn’t have picked up unduly high speed.

              Looking at the off piste tracks on “the mirror” web site, I’d guess he travelled at least 20m to 30m prior to the accident. His spokeswoman perhaps played down the distance (I think she claimed on his “first turn” something all the tracks in the snow disagreed with) … but I think she is correct about speed — in that terrain it would be hard to hit 50mph especially after 20m.

              Personally I’d guess 20-30mph or so, but this is simply a gut feeling from a look at the picture of the terrain.

          2. Thank you for posting that.

            1. @bascb and @mike

              if interested: there is a claimed video & witness.


              If this report is right it looks like was indeed correct in my estimate of a low speed. Since there is a police investigation I think they should be very interested in both the helmet and (any) marking of the area.

        2. Thank you @bascb and @boylep6. I’m afraid that I posted my comment without having a really good think about it. In the back of my mind, I’m sure that I was thinking about the dodgy equipment that “Joe weekend skier” might have gotten some years ago (in my case, here in the eastern US) when simply walking up to a rental stand. Only too obviously, this would not have been the case with Michael. It makes perfect sense to me (now) that upscale resort areas would have the absolute best of modern equipment available to their customers who can afford it, and also make doubly sure that everything is set up properly for the particular skier. With this kind of service and top-notch gear at his disposal, it also makes sense that Michael wouldn’t feel the need to drag his own stuff around, and was no doubt very comfortable with the equipment. Thanks for setting me straight.

    9. Well I just have to hope McLaren have wrapped both titles up before Abu Dhabi then ;)

      Then, how will that make it intense?

    10. Yeah, good luck with that Magnussen. If you can emulate Hamilton then it really would be some feat!
      The problem is Hamilton was the last of the crop to have almost unlimited testing before his F1 ‘debut’. Nowadays all rookies get is the simulator, and a few Friday practices, before being chucked into the deep end. If they’re not ridiculously talented, they’re ousted after a single season. If they are talented, but have no money, again they’re ousted. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I digress.

      But yes, best of luck Magnussen, if you truly can emulate Hamilton’s rookie season, then boy-oh-boy you’ll be a serious driver to watch!

      1. He is coming out of the gate with an overly competent attitude isn’t he.What Hamilton accomplished in his 1st year in F1 was amazing but,as you said the testing made the difference.If Magnussen can keep up with Jensen that would be enough to impress me.

    11. Cue the “Schumi coming out of retirement to replace Alonso in 2015” rumors….. :)

    12. Happy B-day to Herr Shumacher. And on the topic of double points, they said it will make it more intense, but they are counting also on those disgusted by the measure, not just those who supported it, creating controversy around a race that is at the end of the calendar may bring in more viewers, some to cheer, some to boo the race, at any rate, if more people watches, they will be happy, its just another freak for the circus.

    13. it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina

      Oh it’s very possible when you imagine yourself not watching it. Which I won’t be if they don’t change the rule. I’m not one to typically pull that, but I’m fed up. I’ve officially had enough of the artificial gimmicks. This is on the level of NASCAR’s “Chase” which I also feel is unfair and unsporting. I won’t watch a single F1 race in 2014 until the rule is gone. So there will most definitely not be any additional intensity when I have no idea what’s happening and no longer care.

      1. @joey-post – To be fair, it has been suggested that the broadcasters put pressure on the Powers That Be to introduce the rule, or something like it. And you can understand their position since the broadcast rights are expensive, they will obviously want the title fight to go on for as long as possible to keep ratings up. But if it is true, then the way they have done it is wrong, and the sport is unfairly being criticised for it. The broadcasters are the ones who deserve your scorn, because they think it is acceptable to interfere with the outcome of the championship for the sake of their viewing figures – especially when you have a broadcaster like Sky who got a sweetheart deal by getting the BBC to foot part of the bill.

      2. My thoughts exactly, @joey-poey

        Oh it’s very possible when you imagine yourself not watching it.

    14. Happy birthday to both @ajokay and @coefficient, I hope both of you have a great party to celebrate it!

    15. Today is Michael Schumacher’s birthday. The seven-times world champion turns 45, and I’m sure all F1 Fanatic readers will join me in wishing him a swift and full recovery from his recent skiing accident.

      I certainly do Keith, I even took the opportunity to add him back in to my supported driver list this morning as a small sign of support. Happy Birthday Schumi, I hope you will be soon able to celebrate it with your family and friends.

      1. @bascb Thats a fantastic idea to “add” Schumacher back to your supported driver list. I can’t believe I didn’t have him selected and have done the same.
        Its a small gesture, but one I think all F1F’s can appreciate.

        1. +1 He’s now on my supported driver list for the first time. Forza Schumi!

    16. I wish all the best to Michael Schumacher on his Birthday today. I think of him daily and wish him some of the luck he had in his F1 career.

    17. Has there been any comment from Ralf about Michael’s accident? I haven’t seen any mention of him in the reports which seems a little strange, although I don’t think they have been all that close for some years now.

      1. I read somewhere that he showed up at the hospital on Michael’s birthday.

      2. I think its perfectly normal that we do not see comments specifically from Michaels brother, father, mother, wife, son, daughter JSC.
        I am sure that his family are in close contact with each other, visiting him as far as possible and staying together, but they give out “statements from the family” instead of all having to go and post things on social media, talk to printed media and TV/radio separately

    18. All the best Michael get well soon champ stay strong keep fighting!

    19. Happy B’day Michael. I pray for the quick recovery.

    20. All the best to The Schu on his 45th birthday, thoughts with his wife and kids and a ‘speedy recovery’ to him.
      My brother-in-law had a small heart attack today (only 42) but doing well and ok, and we had a REAL bad day so only imagine how the Schumachers are feeling in comparison- all positive thoughts to them!!!

      There have been a few articles on Michael ‘The Robot’ (but I did think they go paid to do that job) but I would like to share the humane side of The Shumi that I saw.

      My wife and I were in Suzuka on the Saturday before Q1 in 2012 and waiting for the drivers and there are only a few people waiting (5-20) but one lady was in a wheel chair, her friend asked The Schmui to come say hello and a photo and he was excellent- “Of course I can”!! He spent a few minutes, had a few photos’ and was quite the gent!! Normally when a 7 time champ is around people jump on it, but on this occasion the crowd stayed back and gave much respect for the moment!!

      I liked the Shumi in the the past 3 years the best but it was only when Nico was as fast as Lewis in this year they realised how fast the old fella still was the 3 years before!!

    21. Oh for gawds sake – it’s no like the man is dead !

    22. Why is the accident being investigated?

    23. Happy Birthday Michael and get well soon!

      Can you imagine being Schumi and waking up to see all those people outside the hospital supporting you?

    24. I believe that double-points finales can be good for Formula 1.

      I believe that they can be a catalyst for change.

      I believe that they can make the teams realise that they have gone too far in emphasising style over substance.

      I believe that they can make the governing bodies realise that they have been relying on temporary solutions to fix problems for too long.

      I believe that they can make the fans realise that they need to do more than get angry in order to bring about change; for far too long, the fans have been upset with the rule changes and demanded something new, but have given no indication of what might fix the problem and have gotten upset with the response, starting the cycle anew.

      I believe that the spokesman had something else in mind when he said it would be good for Formula 1.

    25. According to Danish media, the surgeon Gerard Saillant has now told Schumacher’s friend Philippe Strief that he is no longer in danger of dying, but that his condition remains serious.

      http://politiken.dk/sport/ECE2174167/kirurg-har-talt-schumacher-overlever/ (danish)

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