Michael Schumacher: Former team-mate Felipe Massa 'praying every day'

The seven-time world champion remains in a coma

Felipe Massa remains hopeful his friend and former Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher can pull out of an induced coma and return to health.

The retired seven-times Formula One champion suffered severe head injuries when he slammed into a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel in December, and has been in a stable but critical condition in a hospital in the French city of Grenoble since.

Schumacher's agent raised hope this week that the 45-year-old German might revive when she wrote of "small, encouraging signs" in his condition since doctors started lowering his sedation in January to wake him up from the induced coma.

"I keep praying and believe that things can be okay for him and he's coming back," Massa told reporters at Albert Park on Thursday ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"I always think about him every day, pray for him every day.

"For sure it was a shame to see what's happened, but I keep thinking about him. He's on my helmet."

 

The 32-year-old Massa joined Ferrari as a test driver in 2003 during Schumacher's hey-day and after two seasons with Sauber returned to the team in 2006 for the German's last season at Maranello.

Brazilian Massa spent several days in an induced coma in 2009 after being hit by a bouncing spring from another car and has led the tributes to Schumacher, the sport's most successful driver.

After eight years at Ferrari, largely overshadowed by twice world championship-winning team mate Fernando Alonso, Massa has been replaced by 2007 champion Kimi Raikonnen at Maranello and moved to Williams, where he will be expected to take a leading role ahead of 24-year-old Finn Valtteri Bottas.

Despite coming off a wretched season in which they managed only five points and finished ninth in the constructors' championship, a revamped Williams arrive at Albert Park more confident after a good showing during pre-season testing.

"I feel the team is really motivated, they want to grow, to get better and get back to the times when Williams was there," Massa said of the once-formidable team that won nine constructors titles between 1980 and 1997.

"I don't know how competitive we can be, compared to the other teams ... maybe we can see ourselves fighting with them and being competitive with the top teams.

"I'm really looking forward and I think it can be a really nice season for us, but how nice I don't know."

Massa said in professional aspects, his new team was much the same as Ferrari, but admitted he was still getting used to the British style compared to the more animated personalities in the Ferrari garage.

"They are much more quiet," he said of his Williams colleagues.

"The Italians - they cannot talk without shaking the hands," he added, gesticulating.

"And I am like that, I'm from Brazil as well.

"Understanding the way they talk (at Willliams), because I haven't lived in England, is also new for me. It's nice. It's a nice experience, but definitely the mentality is pretty different."

Reuters

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album