Michael Schumacher: Jacques Villeneuve speaks of his 'shock' at great rival's accident

Pair competed for 1997 Formula One Drivers Championship

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The Independent Online

Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schmacher's great rival in 1997 when the Frenchman won his sole Drivers Championship, has spoken of his “shock” at Schumacher's accident.

The seven-times world champion has been in a comatose state at Grenoble Hospital after suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident on 29 December.

The last official word on Schumacher's condition was released on Thursday, with his manager saying that he remains "in a waking up process", two weeks after doctors at the University of Grenoble hospital began the delicate job of bringing him out of an induced coma.

Villeneuve, who will contest the inaugural season of the World Rallycross Championship, offered kind words to Schumacher's family, as they wait by his bedside in Grenoble.

"I was really shocked [by the news of the accident]," Villeneuve told Sky Sports. "It is really hard on his family, because they are waiting and they have no idea what will happen. If he gets out of it, how he will get out of it and what state he will be [in].That's a terrible position [for them] to be in."

The 42-year-old said that Schumacher needed that surge of adrenaline in his life, after his high-octane career in Formula One, and hopes that his family stay strong.


"We all live on the edge, and Michael certainly did. That's how he won championships, how he went motor bike racing. He needed that adrenaline to kick in, and he needed to always overcome himself.

"[On his ski accident] There he got caught out on a leisurely day so that's really tough and when bad luck hits there's very little you can do and his family just have to figure out how to survive it."

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