As another new week begins, the major topic of conversation still surrounds the plight of Michael Schumacher.
The seven-time world champion turned 45 on Friday and remains in a critical but stable condition in a Grenoble hospital following his serious skiing accident just over a week ago.
Amongst the day’s other talking points, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone thinks that the luckiest driver may win next year’s title, while the Austrian Grand Prix has received the green light for 2014.
Schumacher is in a critical but stable condition
Michael Schumacher could remain in an induced coma for weeks at a Grenoble hospital after sustaining head injuries in a skiing accident at France’s Meribel resort last Sunday.
Autosport reported on Thursday that Schumacher’s condition remained critical following two successful operations to relieve pressure on his brain.
Following comments made on Friday by Philippe Streiff—a friend of the 45-year-old—that Schumacher's life was no longer in danger, as reported by Sky Sports, the seven-time world champion's manager, Sabine Kehm, felt the need to clarify the situation.
Michael's condition remains critical but stable. We would like to clearly stress that any information regarding Michael's health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as invalid and pure speculation. In consultation with the doctors treating Michael, it is not expected there there will be any press conference before Monday.
According to Professor Uwe Kehler, the head of neurosurgery at the Asklepios hospital in Hamburg, Schumacher’s coma could last for weeks or even months.
Generally, it takes two to three weeks until a patient with such a severe trauma can be woken up. But it can take days or even weeks until the patient opens his eyes. Unfortunately, it is also possible that the person does not wake up properly. In a severe craniocerebral trauma, the first hours and days are crucial to see if the pressure and swelling continues to increase. Especially critical are the first three to four days.
When patients get through those first few days, everyone can breathe a little. But no statement can be made yet about the patient's survival or the outcome. If the patient continues to remain stable, you can shut down the measures to reduce intracranial pressure and then dissolve the coma.
Lewis Hamilton with Toto Wolff
Lewis Hamilton is a pleasure to work with despite his competitive nature, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Hamilton surprised many with his curt responses and mixed radio messages to his team during the U.S. Grand Prix, and he has also been highly self-critical of his own performances during many of his post-race interviews.
However, talking to Autosport, Wolff said that Hamilton’s character makes him a pleasure to work with and that his competitive nature means he is simply “authentic” in his opinions.
First of all, he has a straight and nice character. So generally it is a pleasure to work with him - and it is also a pleasure to work with him because he is very competitive. Rarely do you find people who are so competitive and then on the other side not f**ked up. And he is not.
He is authentic. And sometimes authenticity bites you. But he also learns. And what I like is the way he is taking on the advice, and believes it is good for him. We are trying to be very open with each other.
According to Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the driver who wins the 2014 world championship will not necessarily be the best but the luckiest.
The radical changes to the 2014 engine regulations means that reliability could play a key part during the early stages of the season.
Ecclestone is quoted in Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Motorsport.com) saying he thinks luck will play a big part in the destination of next year’s title.
There is no guarantee that the best driver will win the title. The title will be for the luckiest one. At the moment I have no favourite. I thought Ferrari would win the title in 2013 and I cannot explain why they were not competitive. If Kimi drives as he did many times in 2013, it will stimulate Alonso, but what Ferrari really needs is a good car. Otherwise there is nothing to talk about.
The Red Bull Ring will host the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix after the circuit gained legal approval from local authorities.
The Austrian Grand Prix, which was last held at the renamed A1-Ring in 2003, was already on the FIA’s official calendar. However, there was still a slight chance it could be removed if the necessary administrational paperwork was not rubber stamped.
Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper reported on Friday (via Motorsport.com) that local authorities have granted Red Bull's application for a total race weekend crowd of 225,000 for next year’s June race.