Michael Schumacher: Conflicting messages over health of F1 legend overshadow build-up to new season

The German remains in an induced coma following a skiiing accident late last year

Formula One Correspondent

As Formula 1 prepares for the official kick-off of its brave new world in Melbourne's Albert Park this weekend, Michael Schumacher's family today issued one of its increasingly rare statements about the health of the 45-year-old former multiple world champion who remains in a medically induced coma in hospital in Grenoble following his skiing accident in Meribel on December 29, some two-and-a-half months ago.

"We are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and will wake up," said the statement issued by Schumacher's personal assistant Sabine Kehm, who has refused to disclose further details of his medical progress.

"There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient. Michael has suffered severe injuries. It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation.

"It was clear from the start that this will be a long and hard fight for Michael. We are taking this fight on together with the team of doctors, whom we fully trust. The length of the process is not the important part for us.

"We try to channel all the energies we have toward Michael and we firmly believe that this will help him. And we believe that he will also win this fight."

The family's last statement came at the end of January when the process began to bring Schumacher out of his coma. The fact that this process was unsuccessful during February has been taken as a negative sign and the new statement is widely seen as the family putting a brave situation upon an increasingly grave situation which continues to overshadow the start of the new F1 season.

 

It runs counter to considerable speculation among respected figures within the neurological profession that the longer it takes to bring him out of his induced coma the less likely are his chances of pulling through to make a successful recovery that would enable him to lead life to a satisfying and fulfilling level. Objective judgement, however, is impossible to make in such a difficult situation.

Schumacher's former team-mate in the Mercedes-Benz world sportscar championship team in 1990, Austrian Karl Wendlinger, suffered a serious head injury of his own after a crash in Monaco in 1994 weeks after the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna but was brought out of induced coma within 10 days and eventually recovered fully.

"My family was told every head injury is different in its characteristics," Wendlinger said. "So I think we should not compare the time in coma between people who have suffered one. Maybe they have to keep Michael a little bit longer quiet until they take him out of coma. For sure for the family it is a tough time. My wife and my parents told me that every report from the hospital or next meeting with the doctors was very difficult because you never know how good or bad the new informations are going to be."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks