Michael Schumacher: Claims that he is 'out of danger' dismissed by management of seven-time F1 champion as they confirm he remains 'critical but stable'

Fellow former F1 driver Philippe Streiff told reporters outside Grenoble Hospital that Schumacher's 'life is not in danger anymore', but his agent has dismissed the claim as 'pure speculation'

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The Independent Online

A friend of Michael Schumacher has said the 45-year-old former F1 champion’s life is no longer in danger.

Speaking on Friday to Sky News reporters outside the hospital where Mr Schumacher is being treated, Philippe Streiff, also a former Formula One driver said: "I'm not a doctor, I'm repeating what Gerard Saillant (surgeon and friend of the Schumacher family) told me.

"Gerard Saillant said it is a serious condition but his life is not in danger anymore now, thankfully."

However in a statement issued on Saturday, Mr Schumacher's agent said his condition "remains critical but stable".

Eluding to Mr Saillant's comments, Sabine Kehm added that any news which has not come directly from Mr Schumacher's management, or from doctors treating him, "must be treated as invalid and pure speculation". She requested respect for the family's privacy.

Ms Kehm also confirmed reports that authorities are examining the footage from the helmet camera he was wearing at the time of the ski accident, adding that the family handed over the helmet and camera to police.

Authorities have also spoken to Mr Schumacher's 14-year-old son, who was skiing with his father when he fell, French newspaper Dauphine Libere reports.

Mr Schumacher remains in an induced coma after the accident on a rocky patch in between two relatively simple ski slope on 29 December. He hit his head so hard on a rock that his helmet split in two and suffered critical brain injuries.

French prosecutors are looking at whether the pistes on the edge of the patch were clearly and correctly marked, and if the safety releases on Schumacher's skis were working properly, AFP said.

The news comes as fans held a silent vigil outside the hospital to mark his 45th birthday, in part organised by Ferrari, the team with which he won five successive world drivers' title between 2000 and 2004.

Following the vigil, his family said in a statement: “The incredible sympathies shown today by the Ferrari Fans outside the hospital has utterly overwhelmed us and moved us all to tears.”

“We are deeply grateful for it and also for all the heartwarming and heartfelt wishes for Michael to get well soon, which have reached us from all over the world.”