Michael Schumacher: Bahrain Grand Prix boosted by Schumi progress

Spirits in the F1 paddock were lifted ahead of qualifying, where Nico Rosberg secured pole position

Bahrain

As an antidote to the negative taint on much of the recent news about Formula One, the revelation that Michael Schumacher is showing the first genuine signs of positive progress swept like a breath of fresh air through the paddock in Sakhir yesterday, as championship leader Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position by three-tenths for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Following the official message from his spokeswoman Sabine Kehm on Friday, in which she said that the multiple world champion was “ showing moments of consciousness and awakening” after his skiing accident at Meribel on December 29, the Italian sporting paper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that he is reacting to various external stimuli.

According to respected motorsport writer Paolo Ianieri, Schumacher first showed signs of waking from his deep induced coma a week ago, some time after the drugs that kept him in that state had been reduced and then discontinued. He has since became able to follow, first with his right eye and subsequently with his left, when his family and doctors moved fingers from side to side in front of him.

 

“I saw Michael for the first time about three weeks ago,” Schumacher’s friend Jean Alesi, a former Ferrari racer, said yesterday. “Then his only response was an automatic one, like to pain if somebody pinched him. But my son Guiliano races karts with his son Mick and I know that things have improved lately, and Ianieri’s story is genuine. The last time I saw the family they were much more relieved and happy with the way things were progressing. I am very glad to hear this news. The road is still a long one but, yes, this is a positive development.”

After finishing behind his Mercedes team-mate Rosberg last night, Hamilton, who made an error on Turn One on his final lap, said:

“I made a mistake and went straight on. These things happen! But the news about Michael is the really good news of the day.”

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