French prosecutors investigating the skiing accident that left seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher fighting for his life will hold a press conference on Wednesday to inform the media of their findings so far, due to be held at 10am GMT.
Local prosecutor Patrick Quincy has confirmed that the conference will take place in the Alpine town of Albertville, situated 27 miles north of the exclusive Meribel ski resort where Schumacher had his accident that left him with severe head injuries and in a medically induced coma.
Investigators have been focusing on Schumacher’s speed at the time of the crash, and spoke to his manager Sabine Kehm after she claimed that speed was not a factor in the accident. According to Kehm, Schumacher hit a rock on the ground that saw him “catapulted in the air” before landing “apparently head down” onto another rock, with the impact splitting his helmet in two.
It was a camera in the helmet that prosecutors wanted to analyse to determine the cause of the accident, with Kehm confirming that it was “voluntarily given to the investigating authorities by the family" in an attempt to assist their investigation.
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
1/17 February 2006
Michael Schumacher is seen in the pits during a training session at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste near Valencia in 2006
2/17 November 1994
Hugging two team mechanics in delight for becoming World Champion Driver after the Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide circuit in November 1994
3/17 October 1995
Flavio Briatore carries a jubilant Michael after he wins the Pacific F1 Grand Prix at Aida in Japan, and wins his second World Drivers Championshp
4/17 February 1996
Schmacher pushes his Ferrari back to the pits after engine trouble left him stranded at the entrance of the pitlane during pre-season testing at Estoril, Portugal
5/17 March 1996
During the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne
6/17 March 1997
Michael Schumacher in the pit lane during the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia
7/17 October 2000
Celebrating on the podium after winning the formula one world championship at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Japan
8/17 July 2006
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari leads the pack into the first corner at the start of the French Formula One Grand Prix at the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit
Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
9/17 October 2010
Michael Schumacher drives during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit
Clive Mason/Getty Images
10/17 October 2011
Michael Schumacher and Mercedes GP waves to the crowd as he attends the drivers parade before the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on October 30, 2011 in Noida, India
11/17 December 2011
Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher celebrate after winning the Nations Cup at day one of the race of champions event at the Esprit Arena
12/17 June 2012
Michael Schumacher drives at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 22, 2012 in Valencia during the first practice race of the European Formula One Grand Prix
13/17 September 2012
Michael Schumacher crashes into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in September 2012
14/17 November 2012
Schumacher drives in his last race during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
15/17 December 2013
Deputy director Jean Marc Grenier talks to media outside the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps
16/17 December 2013
Members of the staff are seen outside the emergency services at the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps; this is the hospital where retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is reported to be hospitalized after a ski accident
17/17 December 2013
A Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher fan waits, on December 29, in Grenoble, in front of the emergency department of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire hospital
Prosecutors also want to look at whether the limits of the ski runs near the accident site were marked correctly, and specifically whether the rock which Schumacher collided with was lying close enough to the piste that it should require either a sign or some sort of protection.
They are also looking into whether Schumacher’s safety releases on his skis functioned correctly during the accident.
The latest official update came on New Year’s Eve that confirmed Schumacher had undergone a second successful operation in which he had shown a “slight improvement”, but also stressed that he remains in a “stable but critical condition” as he fights for his life.
The former Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes driver turned 45 on Friday, with the Italian manufacturer organising a silent vigil outside of the Grenoble University Hospital where he was recovering in tribute to Schumacher.
Kehm has also stressed that only official press releases and news from the family should be believed, and that anything reported elsewhere “must be treated as invalid and pure speculation”.
She also requested for the privacy of the Schumacher family to be respected.