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."

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence