Motor racingSaturday, April 5, 2014
Schumacher making progress
Michael Schumacher is now showing “moments of consciousness and awakening,” more than three months after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident, the retired Formula One star’s manager said.
PARIS — Seven-times Formula One motor racing world champion Michael Schumacher is making progress and showing signs of waking from an artificial coma after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident, his agent said yesterday. “Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening,” Sabine Kehm said in a statement.
Schumacher, 45, slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29 last year.
The most successful Formula One champion of all time has been in a stable but critical condition since then in a hospital in the eastern French city of Grenoble.
Doctors started lowering the retired German racing driver’s sedation at the end of January to wake him up from an artificial coma.
“We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident,” said the brief statement.
Schumacher, who won a record 91 Grand Prix victories, left the sport last year after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006.
The statement was welcomed by drivers taking part in practice for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, a race Schumacher won on its first appearance on the calendar exactly 10 years ago.
Four-times world champion and compatriot Sebastian Vettel, a friend of Schumacher who was also one of his boyhood idols, was also encouraged.
“It is very good to hear it’s going in the right direction,” said the Red Bull driver. “Naturally he still has a long process ahead of him, but for sure we wish him the best.”
BAHRAIN GP. Mercedes further demonstrated its early-season dominance by outpacing its rivals in yesterday’s practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix, indicating the team is well poised for a third straight win to start 2014.
Lewis Hamilton followed up his victory last week in Malaysia by having the fastest time in both sessions, the second of which was held under lights for the first time at the Bahrain International Circuit, which has switched to being a night race.
Hamilton’s time of one minute, 34.690 seconds was one third of a second faster than teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg, and more than a second faster than third-place Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Defending four-time world champion Vettel was a distant seventh on the timesheets.