Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Michael Schumacher fans warned they may ‘never have any good news’ about former F1 champion’s condition

‘At this point, I rather dread seeing that the family has put out a press release,’ says F1 doctor Gary Hartstein

Fans of Michael Schumacher have been warned that they will “never have any good news” on his medical condition.

The former Formula One champion has been in a medically induced coma since he suffered a near-fatal head injury on a skiing trip in Meribel, France on 29 December 2013.

The last official update about Schumacher’s condition came two months ago, in April, when his family confirmed he was in the slow “waking up process”.

"I'm quite afraid (and virtually certain) we will never have any good news about Michael," Gary Hartstein, a former F1 doctor, said.

"At this point, I rather dread seeing that the family has put out a press release."

"I can conceive of no possible reason that Michael's entourage, understandably extremely protective of his and their privacy, would not tell his fans if significantly good things have happened,” he added in a post on his blog.

"Slowly, everybody is really worried," Roger Benoit, F1 commentator, recently added. "Slowly, everybody is really worried. Grenoble and the family have been silent for weeks. Why?"


Doctors began the gradual process of bringing Schumacher out of his coma 18 weeks ago.

The 45-year-old’s manager Sabine Kehm confirmed in April that Schumacher was showing signs of consciousness and being awake, and she has now elaborated on her latest revelation that gives hope of the F1 great making a recovery.

"There are short moments of consciousness and he is showing small signs of progress," Kehm told 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."

Despite the positive report, Kehm also stressed that any medical prognosis is "not possible" due to the severity of the brain injury Schumacher sustained, and that any interaction with the former driver is "on a very limited basis".

Kehm has been particularly careful with her statements not to give any more information than what the doctors have passed on, although she has also had to address rumours that have circulated since the accident.

"What upsets the family most is media quoting doctors who are not treating Michael and untruths are constructed from these," added 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."