Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004

Schumacher’s condition “not good” – Montezemolo

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In the round-up: Michael Schumacher’s manager has again declined to elaborate on his condition after Luca di Montezemolo described his condition as “not good”.

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Dropping the engine development tokens system may not be a cure-all:

On paper scrapping the tokens is a good idea but let us not forget that this will also mean that Mercedes can develop/improve their power unit and given how they have the best as it is with a significant budget, well organized technical departments and some of the best engine people around this change may end up allowing Mercedes to pull a bigger gap rather than doing what many hope it will and simply allow the rest to catch up.

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  • 70 comments on “Schumacher’s condition “not good” – Montezemolo”

    1. I think the only way to stop the unconfirmed reports of Schumachers health, be it good or bad, is for his management to just give one full, clear, substantial statement on how he is.

      1. That might be a good idea @cmf1, but it is entirely their choice.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          5th February 2016, 6:17

          for his management to just give one full, clear, substantial statement on how he is.

          Absolutely rubbish, @cmf1.
          Do you think one would be enough?
          People probably want ‘one’ every so often! Every year, semester, fortnight, week, day, etc.

          ‘One’ will never be enough for press and public.

          1. I feel that you are likely spot on.

      2. Exactly.

        It’s also worth noting that without the public, Schumacher and family would never have amassed their fortune, nor would he have gotten to enjoy the career he loved. (Without the ad money brought in by the public’s attention, there would be no F1 and motorsport would be even more of a rich man’s game than it already is.)

        For that reason, the family really owe it to Schumacher’s fans to provide real information, and to let them grieve and get past this too. They may not have known Schumacher personally, but they nevertheless formed a deep bond with him, and the cat is long since out of the bag as to the severity of his injuries. But the lack of real information gives them false hope and draws out their pain unnecessarily.

        Making a clear and truthful statement after any change of condition or at a reasonable interval otherwise (perhaps annually) would not in any way affect the family or their privacy. What it would do is stop the nonsense stories in their tracks and show some long-overdue respect to Schumacher’s legions of fans.

        Frankly, were he able to make the decision himself I’m pretty sure that he would choose to inform the public, just as he used to try to indicate that he was OK when being removed from the scene after an accident.

        Sadly, I doubt we’ll get any real info until such point as his body finally expires. (And that’s just a shell; the person inside likely departed long ago.)

        1. +100, well said

        2. Do you really think because you pay someone, you somehow own them? Schumacher and his family have absolutely no obligation to tell us anything. He held up his end of the bargain by driving, in return receiving acknowledgement and remuneration. It ends there. Nothing in his contract stated ‘and sell your private life to the masses.’ Thinking otherwise shows a misguided sense of privilege. You are owed nothing.

          1. Well, then don’t expect us to stop continously speculating about what’s going on either! We won’t stop asking questions all of a sudden, because we love him and care dammit. And since the only people we can get ANY info from are in the media, we’ll force them to keep intervening by default. This embargo is simply counterproductive. Michael is not Justin Bieber, it’s not a fad, and the legion of fans will not just forget about him all of a sudden.

            1. However, a certain amount of respect for privacy isn’t that difficult I think…

              Of course we all want to know, he was my child hood hero, nothing in the news would be more important to me.

              But of course, that doesn’t entitle me to know, and to demand information is disgusting. Out of respect for his family and him, surely, it’s ok to wait.

        3. Your sense of entitlement is what’s wrong with the world today. Besides, anyone with any sense can see what his state is.
          It’s not about YOU. Get over yourselves.

      3. His condition is obvious without saying anything though.

      4. She recently dismissed rumours that he was now able to walk again as irresponsible and offering false hope.

        1. I’m glad this has sparked debate.
          I completely understand that it’s up to the Schumacher family when they release information. But on the flip side, his manager has said previously that unsubstantiated rumours bring hurt to the family. I completely understand this. So, even if they released for example a statement every 3 months saying that there has been no change in his condition, that would stop people like LdM bringing out statements like his, and hurting the family.

          1. Why not every second day? You wouldn’t want to risk false rumors in the media about a famous celebrity.

            I am, of course being sarcastic. Frankly, I think this should reflect on Luca more than anyone else.

      5. It is a difficult situation, to be sure. As fans, with no personal connection to the man, we have no right to know anything about Schumacher’s condition, but the silence will inevitably provoke speculation to fill the vacuum. And dismissing anything that is ever said as “opinion” (as Kehm did, ludicrously, when Philippe Streiff came out with his account of Schumacher’s condition a year or so ago) is unhelpful, and probably does more harm than good.

      6. I completely disagree.
        If they released such a statement then every outlet would consult “experts” and pundits to comment on it – dissect and interpret it. The family would face every day reports about their situation until the material runs stale and people would demand a new update. It would be counter to what the family seems to want.

        Editorial authority, respect and ethics that could make your idea work, don’t exist in today’s media landscape.

        1. I also agree that the family has a right to their privacy and to do as they please regarding this tragedy. I think it can be assumed at this point that MS remains in a fight for his life, and updates would only feed speculation further. If you honour MS then honour his family and their wishes. As was already said, this is not about you. Who are you that they need to do this your way?

    2. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      5th February 2016, 0:35

      I disagree with the COTD. In any engineering exercise, optimisation will invariably become an exercise in diminishing returns. It’s why supercars from wildly different companies have broadly similar power outputs when using the same layout of engine and as far as the F1 hybrid units go, the Merc has made incremental power increases with recent upgrades, competitors are close and it’s the Merc’s collaboration with the chassis and engine teams that is keeping their nose ahead of even teams with the same spec engine (Williams for example).

      This is a legitimate coup for Ferrari and Renault but will probably make little difference to the midfield.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th February 2016, 6:22

        In any engineering exercise, optimisation will invariably become an exercise in diminishing returns.

        And it is ‘diminishing returns’ squared in this car racing. @offdutyrockstar
        1) diminishing returns because you get closer to the optimal engineering solution;
        2) diminishing returns because you need exponentially more power to get the extra km/hr of speed.

      2. @offdutyrockstar

        I disagree with the COTD as well. Opportunities are always greater for the teams that have ground to make up. And as you mentioned the diminishing returns on engineering solutions will make sure that the gap is closed over a period of time. Having quicker intervals to implement solutions and analyse that data will only help close the gap quicker

      3. One aspect that is important is there are fuel flow and fuel consumption restrictions, meaning extra power is only gained by extra efficiency. While Mercedes do have a bigger budget, their engine is only allowed to consume fuel at the same rate as all the other cars, so the aim isn’t an engine that produces the most amount of power, rather, it is an engine that produces the most amount of power per litre of fuel. Even for Mercedes, there will be some ideas that will produce more efficiency, but the cost of implementing them doesn’t justify the expense of implementing them.
        The abolition of the token system simply means there is more room for manufacturers to “go back to the drawing board” if they find they have gone down the “wrong pathway”. For example, Honda probably rued some decisions made early on, but decisions had to be made without a proper appreciation of the consequences, and then had to live with them for a whole season.

        1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
          5th February 2016, 12:46

          Ah yes Honda, I forgot Honda. They have the most to gain from this.

          Does this mean that manufacturers can go as so far as to run tandem multiple engine development programs should they wish? ie, while pursuing their size zero engine concept, Honda could have a Merc PU clone engine being developed alongside and evaluate which one to use for the next season? Would that be permissable? (albeit ridiculously expensive)

    3. It will be the fairy tale finish wouldn’t it? For Fernando to go back to Enstone to finish his career. It would be funnyb he actually end up winning his Third crown in his final swan song.

      If K Mag and Palmer don’t end up working too well, who is to say that Fernando can’t be back in 18? That could be the year when Renault actually have a winning car.

      1. Alonso brings way too much baggage. Hopefully by 2018 he is yesterday’s news. A fairy tale for Renault would be to win again as a factory team, with a French driver, and tell Red Bull to shove it, IMO.

        1. If by baggage you mean he is fast, consistent and motivated. Then yes.

        2. Drivers careers don’t start in F1. By this time, they all have baggage.

      2. I think both Alonso and Button will retire in 2017, with or without another world championship. It’ll be very interesting in 2018 with a whole new McLaren lineup. I’m guessing Vandoorne and Ricciardo.

      3. I don’t think Alonso will return but surely they’ll replace Palmer after 2016. The problem is, with whom? A Magnussen-Ocon line-up would be very young.

        1. Why do you believe Palmer will be replaced, he hasn’t been given much opportunity yet. I believe he will do well because he was a GP2 series champion. He couldn’t have done that unless he had a lot of ability.

          1. I agree. A GP2 champion is likely to be competitive in F1, regardless of what age he achieved his GP2 win. Even a 2nd or 3rd place GP2 driver is likely to be competitive in F1. Like Nasr have shown.

            1. Keeping in mind that includes Pastor. And we all know the popular opinion on him.

      4. @jaymenon10 MAG to Woking again!

    4. As for the COTD, the engine isn’t everything. The Mercedes package is superb, and the engine the best, but if the engine was so much ahead of the rest then as least 1 other Mercedes powered car would have won a race in the last 3 years. At least one. Instead of getting beaten by cars with Renault and Ferrari engines.

      With the removal tokens I’m sure all three other engine manufacturers can make one that, along with a strong chassis, will stand a chance. I think the gap will only get smaller. There’s only so far you can go.

      1. That’s if you believe Mercedes went from a 4th best chassis to 1st best in one off season. The other ther teams with merc engines were already slower then merc chasdis, and they get a less powerful engine.

    5. If he hasn’t recovered by now I don’t think he ever will. People don’t just magically snap out of a vegetative state because their sympathetic to the plight of their loved ones.

    6. The odd thing about his comment? i had a dream of Michael, he stood on the podium with his arm raised , in his Mercedes attire , in the middle of the podium he stood alone. lewis hamilton watching in awe. I woke up and read about Montezemelo’s comment about Michael.

      and thought , how wierd.

      God bless Michael !

      1. I sometimes dream about him actually chatting to Massa and the other guys and asking them to give him a heads-up on what’s going on.

        In another dream, I saw him visiting a race again. It’s blurred but as I recall, although he was wheelchair-bound or something, he was perfectly able to speak his mind and he seemed mentally healthy in every way.

        It’s awful news that there seems to be no improvement in his condition – but I refuse to give up hope. He wouldn’t want it any other way either, I surmise.

        1. he make a speedy recovery soon, a great champ and individual!

    7. Alonso to Renault: A new crashgate is coming? Remember Singapore 2008?

      1. I remember he won 2 world championships in a Renault vs Schumacher and showed he is the best driver in the world.

        1. People tend to have short memories

          1. @jaymenon10: Yes people tend to forget the role of Michelin tyres in these 2 championships.

            1. @malik

              Yes. Because the runner ups in those years and were on Michelins too

            2. Yes, you are right, Renault were quite handicapped against a bridgestone tyre that had every week testing with Ferrari! More kudos to alonso getting that speed out of Renault!

      2. Seriously? crash gate? Get real

        How many times do people need the basics explained to them. That was clearly driven by Flavio and Pat. Mostly Flav. They needed that win as renault were about to pull the plug. Alonso did not need that win, he didn’t need to risk his career for a win that meant very little. He isn’t stupid, he can be devious but he isn’t dumb.

        As for the strategy he was out of position due to qualifying engine failure. One tactic used for this back then was to stop early to get you out of the cue. You then fuel long to pit later than that cue when you later catch them. It used brilliantly by schumacher at monaco 06. And was also being used by a handful of other cars that same day including the red bulls.

        It always makes laugh when people say why would fernando use that strategy. Well clearly he knows more about F1 strategy than they thought they did at the time.

        1. Alonso was on a really odd strategy that race, surely he knew something about what his buddy Flavio was planning.

          1. I think to say he had no idea at all, would be to discredit his intelligence.

          2. I’ve been thinking that he might have been explained that strategy:

            “Yes, it’s a very risky tactic. It might not bounce us up, but IF there’s safety car just in the right time from our perspective, you can win the race.”

          3. I think a reason Flav wanted to give a win to Fernando was because he wanted him to feel good and stay too so i do not think Alonso was in the loop about planning the whole trick BUT i think Alonso understood what happened when it happened.

    8. Was there really any doubt about Michael’s condition? We know he’s not doing well. If he were, no doubt there would have been a photo op already.

    9. Not your best round-up picture here…

      1. @jeff1s Gotta agree with you. There are tons of pics of Michael Schumacher available. Why choose this? @keithcollantine

    10. I think it’s absolutely correct that the amount of available information about Schumacher’s health is a choice that lies with the Schumacher family, period. The choice though is a tough one. Looking at what LDM said, “I have some news and it’s not good.” Is in effect saying nothing that we don’t already know. The fact that we know little leads to wild speculation and all sorts of media gossip. If I was in the Schumacher’s situation, I would be putting out (as suggested in a post above) a slightly more detailed annual statement on Michael’s health in an attempt to reduce the gossip and speculation. This then may assist them in getting the respect that they deserve for the choice that they have made. But it is absolutely no easy task.

      1. But is the gossip and speculation so rampant that even an annual statement would dissipate that, or would it just propagate gossip further? I think that since the family is doing what they are they must feel that the best way to prevent gossip is to say nothing and that way there is nothing for anyone to try to take and assume and manipulate and speculate on.

    11. Ever since the Renault taking over Enstone rumours started, I’ve been hoping for an Alonso return to that team. Now with a couple of big hires in the engineering department, it’s looking like Renault might just be a viable option for Alonso in 2017.

      Just don’t think Mclaren can deliver a championship winning car to Alonso. He’d be smart to make a move there for 2017 and end his career with the team that gave him 2 WDCs

      1. Especially if the Red Bull Honda rumour comes true McLaren will not win even if the engine end up to be very good.

    12. As for the Schumacher issue. I was never a fan of his, I am more a supporter of the underdog. He does however have millions of fans. You have to realise that the word fan is short for fanatic. So some people are expecting fanatics to behave reasonably and forget about the object of their fanaticism, it will never happen. Once you open the I’m a celebrity genie there is no getting it back in the bottle. My point is that it is a waste of time to argue with a fan about something they feel strongly about.

      1. I’m not sure I could agree that it’s an excuse per say… But I definitely see what you are saying. Good point.

        1. Exactly thats why u cannot discuss things with Alonso’s fans they are like sheep.

    13. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      5th February 2016, 8:29

      I think now there is enough to infer from the sporadic information we have received to say we should now change our expectations of Schumacher’s recovery process.

      At this point, what Michael deserves most is comfort, dignity and privacy to live out the rest of what will be a challenging life, and the later, privacy, can be applied to his family too. In some cases support from the public and the motorsport fraternity can be invaluable, I know it was for Justin Wilson’s family, however Corinna has chosen instead to be supported by family and friends. Since Michael was always the family’s public face, that is completely understandable.

      It is now our job as fans simply to wish that Michael and family can live the best life possible.

      1. I totally agree with you.

        I do not understand how anyone can put any blame on the family for not releasing information. They are not obliged to. The blame is on those individuals and organizations that think it is their place to release any sensitive information about so sensitive a situation.

        I believe TRUE fans of Schumacher can understand and appreciate what is going on, and can patiently and prayerfully wait for any OFFICIAL information from the family, out of respect for the man.

    14. Pretty poor from Montezemelo, he must know the family position on this. Basically, saying “I’ve got some bad news but I’m not going to tell you what is it is” appears inconsiderate at best.

      1. I think we just have to trust that he is saying as much as he believes is appropriate. Of course, we all want to know more, but it isn’t our business. The only right we do have is if, at some later date, it comes out that he made up his comment, then we should say something then. Until we are told otherwise, we should respect what he said. Protests won’t help Michael, although our prayers will.

    15. “The main problem is not with GP2, or 3.5 or F3 or whatever. It’s just that there are not as many top drivers coming through from top-level karting as there used to be.”

      That’s probably a game-changer issue on the long-term.

      This new Y generation (Z, or whatever the post-2000, born-into-broadband-and-smartphone kids are called) is simply not as interested in motorsport as the previous generations used to be.

      And if the supply of drivers dries up, there will be even less Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso and less of those will do seemingly unbelievable things behind the wheel, leading to decreased attention and so on and so forth…

      It’s not a great vision at all for this time in, say, 10 or 15 years.

    16. Have to hand it to Renault.

      Get the announcements made early while F1 is on break to maximise their publicity and fuel the silly rumours. Can also make claims about performance that will be forgotten by Melbourne.

      Good on them for making the most out of it while they can – I suspect once wheels actually start turning there won’t be a lot to say from them.

      They can always borrow all of Ron’s “it’s a transition year” statements from last year and recycle them during the season.

    17. RE: COTD topic – engine tokens ending.

      I think it is good that the tokens debacle is being scrapped but keeping it even this long has done some long-lasting damage. While Mercedes clearly made the best power unit package in 2014 and every aspect (ICE, ERS-K/H, turbo) was way beyond what other teams had done, the in-season freeze and tokens baked in their advantage for 2015, likely for 2016, and very possibly for 2017-2018.

      I remember early to mid-2000s battles where engines were being developed and new specs were brought almost every race, or every other race for a few horsepower more. The current regs won’t allow that, and freezing is supposed to reduce costs, but if teams want to spend money, they will spend money. Can’t develop engine as much as they’d like? Okay, build 45 different wings, new sidepods, new cooling. Meanwhile, competition suffers because freezing development also freezes performance advantages/disadvantages, and the thaw is usually slower than the freeze.

      If they want to keep costs down, they have to come up with a cost cap plan/system. I’m not here to sing its praises or get lost in the mire of the details, I’m just saying that if costs are your goal, address costs directly. If you want to address overtaking, stop futzing around with artificial measures and regulate the cars in such a way that allows closer driving. F1 is great at creating Rube Goldberg solutions to problems rather than addressing the issue and the engine freeze/unfreeze is just another bad idea that will have negative effects for seasons to come.

    18. Regarding Schumacher:

      First I don’t know what Monte’s intention is because it doesn’t make sense to tell such an unspecific information. Whatever his agenda, there is of course no entitlement for fans to know what his condition is. On the flip side there is also no entitlement for the Schumacher family not to be asked questions, and not to hear many speculations about his condition especially due to the lack of their information policy.

      I think it is a give and take. A little more information would not hurt in my opinion, it definitely would shut up a lot of speculation, and there is no reason to believe that the media would ask and annoy more when there is at least some truthful information than none at all.

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