Posted on December 30, 2013
Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 08.20.23

“There are those who keep out of mischief, and then there are the adventurers,” the five times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio said in the 1990s. “We racing drivers are adventurers; the more difficult something is, the greater the attraction that comes from it.

“Michael Schumacher is the greatest of the adventurers.”

This quote from the Maestro has always struck me as the best explanation of what drives a true racing driver, but it also sums up the character of Schumacher. He rarely took the easier path.

Whether it be motorcycle racing, in which he suffered a bad accident in February 2009 which prevented him from making a comeback as Felipe Massa’s replacement in August that year, or skydiving or skiing or karting, ordinary life proved too boring for him. That was also what motivated his comeback with Mercedes in 2010 for three more years of challenging himself against the best drivers in the world.

Some drivers reach the end of the road in their careers and realise that the fire has gone out, Damon Hill, is a good example as is Gerhard Berger, Niki Lauda and even Fangio himself. For them a quiet retirement was the goal.

Others still feel the rage to compete and to challenge themselves for many years after their retirement. In many ways it is what makes them feel alive.

And, after challenging themselves by dancing on the edge of calamity for years in a racing car, sadly, many racing drivers come unstuck in the other side of their life, competing in dangerous sports, flying planes and helicopters, continuing to live life on the edge.

One thinks immediately of Robert Kubica’s accident in a fun rally while he was racing F1 with Lotus, then there was Mark Webber, who suffered leg and shoulder injuries while extreme mountain biking.

Tyrrell driver Patrick Depailler broke his legs in a hang gliding accident in 1980.

Didier Pironi was Gilles Villeneuve’s team mate at Ferrari in 1982 and challenged for the world championship. He was killed in a power boating accident.

Emerson Fittipaldi crashed a light aircraft but survived, while rally star Colin McRae fatally crashed a helicopter.

Michael Schumacher is involved in the biggest challenge of his life right now and a fresh medical bulletin is expected mid morning, according to colleagues on the ground in Grenoble.

He is in excellent physical shape and as we all know, is an unbelievable fighter, so he will no doubt give it his all.

His colleagues in F1 and his millions of fans around the world are praying for a positive outcome from this terrible situation.

Why racers love to live on the edge
115 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Rach
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 9:37 am 

    All the best Scumi lets hope he pulls through.

    Your book on Schumacher is the best thing I have read to explain Schumi. Anyone who wants to understand him needs to read it.

    [Reply]

    prasanna madhavan Reply:

    C\I am a schumi fan for 20years now. can u lend the book? will return it sure?

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Random 79
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 9:45 am 

    Clearly these guys like the adrenaline rush, but maybe the biggest test of of their character would be if they were told beforehand “if you do this, this will happen”, would they still do it?

    I think if Micheal had known before what was going to happen he would have stayed in bed that day, but I suspect there are some that would have said “hell with it” and done it anyway.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    Random,

    No one has that foresight. What is he to do? Sit and watch TV in a soft padded room?

    This is a man who did more by age 30 than most will do in a lifetime. He has the means and the knowledge to live a good fun life. He wasn’t reckless, had a helmet and just went off trail by a short distance, which is very easy to do at speed in snow.

    We need to accept it is just an unfortunate accident. If anything it is a good reminder to appreciate family and friends more.

    Why is a healthy active lifestyle a risky thing? Do you know that something like 40000 people die in traffic fatalities in Europe each year? Now that’s a real avoidable thing in a basic task. And all you have to do to put your life at risk is drive to a coffee shop.

    We’re through 24hrs. Surely risk of death is now minimal. It’s all about extent of damage in that frontal lobe. Since he got top notch attention and quite quickly I hope it will be none existant in someone as healthy as Schumi.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    I think you missed my point. Of course no-one see’s these things coming, but what sort of person would go ahead with something even if they could?

    Simon below probably said it better, but it’s not about these guys seeking an active lifestyle – many people do that – but instead seeking a risky lifestyle with the feeling that the more risks you take and the closer you get to the edge the more of a rush you get.

    That was just a response to this particular article (in isolation) – I don’t think that’s what Micheal was doing he went skiing, but like you say below sometimes bad things just happen.

    [Reply]

    Rasbob Reply:

    “Of course no-one see’s these things coming, but what sort of person would go ahead with something even if they could?”

    A fool.

    Sebee Reply:

    2 years ago a guy from my neighborhood bike shop went for a morning ride on his road bike. While going home 2 dogs got loose from a dog owner. As he hit the breaks to avoid hitting them at about 25km/hr he went over the handlebars. Didn’t cover his head and wasn’t wearing a helmet. Hit his frontal lobe on the road surface. He is currently in a vegatative state due to the impact and has made minimal progress since.

    Just a guy going for a Sunday morning bike ride in a relatively safe park.

    Many other stories out there like that Random. It’s life.

    [Reply]

    simon mawdsley Reply:

    I’m not convinced that is a meaningful point, or perhaps i’m misinterpreting you. As a fellow racer, and polo player (with many broken bones to prove it), we certainly think it won’t happen to us. we also certainly think that even if it did then its worth the risk as our lives are richer for it.

    Nobody does anything dangerous KNOWING that they will be seriously injured. that is no different to self-harming. But those of us who are adventurers will weigh up the risks with the rewards and more often say “hell with it” than those who are not adventurers.

    It’s also worth noting that the risk reward ratio is different for everyone. James Allen may correct me here but a few years back Alonso took Schumi around the outside of 130R. When asked later why he performed such a move, knowing full well that any contact would have resulted in carnage, he replied that it was at times like that that you have to remember that Schumi has a wife and kids…and that he did not.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    “we certainly think it won’t happen to us. we also certainly think that even if it did then its worth the risk as our lives are richer for it”

    I think you interpreted my point perfectly :)

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    But it’s never enough is it and tomorrow you’ll have to go out there and do it all over again…and again.

    Mark V Reply:

    I think you are missing the point of risk taking. For many of us who do these sorts of things (I was an amateur downhill ski racer up to the age of 21), it is not at all like recklessly gambling, such as playing Russian Roulette, and merely hoping fate is kind to us. In fact the opposite is usually more accurate.

    While adrenaline is one factor, in my experience it is the challenge of guiding one’s own fate under intense circumstances that has the greatest appeal. This often requires great skill, planning, experience and level headedness in order to MINIMIZE the luck and risk factors.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I agree with your second paragraph. That is what gets racers up in the morning, challenging themselves to control something on the brink of catastrophe

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    Well that sounds to me very much like the gratification one experiences of risk taking and beating the odds.

    Interestingly risk takers rate highly on the psychopathic scale along with those with low empathising capacity………and also characterised by a me me me attitude.

    Mark V Reply:

    Thank you James. The idea we are merely fearless death-cheaters is an archaic one. I for one, have MANY fears, including being hurt in a high speed crash. It is how we accept that fear and then attempt to turn it into something else, not exactly non-fear, but the ability to stop fear from preventing correct action, that is a universal challenge most humans should be able to relate to, whether they are race car drivers or someone who is risking painful rejection by asking a pretty girl out for a date.

    Mark V Reply:

    Or speaking in front of millions of people. That is one activity I find much more scary and the possible consequences should it go wrong far more horrible than a high speed crash. ;)

    FastGuy Reply:

    Yes, exactly, James. There’s a quote from a racer (Lauda? Anybody know?) that I periodically try to find again, where he says it’s not speed that’s important at all, it’s the pursuit of perfection that is his motivation. (Damn, where did I read that?) It always disgusts me when the unknowing refer to our kind as “speed freaks.”
    A salute to @Mark V for his eloquent statement of “the challenge.”

    Random 79 Reply:

    I understand that. Of course you would try to minimize the risk and get home safe, but what I was saying is that is there is a certain type of person who would still go ahead with something, even when the risks might be too great.

    [Reply]

    Mark V Reply:

    @Random: Sure of course there are those types. But few of them make it far in risky activities that also require a high degree of skill because they likely lack the discipline to acquire that skill, or are taken out by injury or death before they do by pushing themselves beyond their limits too much.

    @TJ: you simply won’t be convinced all risk takers are anything but daredevils, will you? But to then also suggest we all score high on the psychopathic test? I find that particularly offensive. Especially since my artist’s sensitive demeanor makes me anything BUT a psychopath. You simply can’t categorize everyone in a neat little box no matter how much easier it is for you.

    Random 79 Reply:

    @Mark V

    ^^^

    All good answers :)

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: savs147
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:00 am 

    Typo, Colin McRace

    [Reply]

    yellowbelly Reply:

    Yes, but an apt Freudian Slip.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Blake
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:04 am 

    Excellent read. This quote by Ayrton Senna seems rather fitting as well:

    “The danger sensation is exciting. The challenge is to find new dangers.”

    Hopefully he can pull through and with no long term issues.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Francois
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:08 am 

    Really hope Michael is going to be ok.
    Good article, just correction on P Depailler, who killed himself in the Alfa-Romeo during testing at Hockeinheim but the accident in hand gliding broke his legs and nearly finish his carreer few years before.

    [Reply]

    Carlos Palomo Reply:

    “Killed himself” means suicide. Patrick Depailler did not do that. Please,
    think before writing.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Joshua
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:09 am 

    Thanks James. It must be difficult at this time to put something out there the fans want. Nice job.

    Fingers crossed for Micheal.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Matt H
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:13 am 

    As a fan of racing I respect schumi immensely but disliked questionable decisions he made which left a sour note on his spectacular career. He was however a beast of a driver and I master in wet and fast stints. I do wish and hope he gets well soon after having an accident while enjoying his well earned retirement. I hope for his families sake he has a speedy recovery. After his stint with Merc i learnt he is not the arrogant person I first perceived and can see he is a great family man. All the best Schumi let’s see the fight and get well soon. For all F1 fans, no matter which driver/team you support this is a race we all want one man to win

    [Reply]

    For sure Reply:

    Wow great comment. Indeed this is something we all want him to win, even if you are not a fan

    [Reply]

    Matt H Reply:

    Truth be told as a English lad a lot of my perception of Schumacher was led by the British press at the time but as I was only 7/8 years old when schumi first started my opinion was swayed naturally. As I grew older after his Merc stint I looked past the trash and formed my own opinion of a fiercely competitive loyal and all round nice guy. At 29 years now I wish in truth I had of opened my eyes earlier to realise that in general (apart from mr Allen) the British press have there own agenda to sell papers and a lot of info in them is rubbish. What we were witnessing was history and a special talent and as a fan of F1 give us some tremendous races to enjoy. I hope sincerely he makes a comeback and hope to see him in the paddock very soon despite the seriousness of the injury.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Mobeen Shafaat
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:18 am 

    This is just a terrible news. I feel as if a family member is fighting for his life. Schumacher has been a big part of my life and just can’t imagine what’s happening.

    My prayers are with him and his family. I cried with him when he won that special race at Suzuka in 2000 and my thoughts are with him now that he’s fighting for his life.

    He brought us so much joy and excitement. I pray to Almighty to give him full recovery.

    Love and prayers from Pakistan. Schumi now come on and pull through. Just like you did one those special laps in Hungry during race!

    [Reply]

    Di Reply:

    I could not have put it better.Yes,he is part of our family too,we have lived through all the ups and down of his long career,seeing him change from boy racer to man Champion.
    May the Dear Lord above look down with tender mercy on Michael and his family, and we earnestly pray to God for his full recovery.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: TMax
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:20 am 

    Get Well Soon Schumi !!!!!

    Yes you can !!!!

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Steven
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:20 am 

    What a terrible note for the year to end on…. Thoughts and prayers are with him at this time. Let’s hope he hangs in there, fights the good fight, and comes back even stronger.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: SG
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:21 am 

    James, not to detract from your main point, but I believe Patrick Depailler was killed in testing. He broke his legs in the hang-gliding incident you mention.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Thanks

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: TheLollipopMan
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:21 am 

    I saw my first F1 race live, at Suzuka in ’98. It was the final round of the season and the decider in an epic war between Hakkinen and Schumacher. It was a dramatic race, with Schu stalling on the grid. He had to start from the rear, losing pole, but he’d managed to get back up into third and was reeling in the leaders at a frantic pace, when, with only 20 laps to go, his tyre exploded.

    It was a tenacious fight back that left a deep impression. It made me understand why I gasped like a star-struck kid when Schumacher waved in our direction during the drivers’ parade before the race. I’ll never forget yelling out his name with my face pressed against the chicken wire, and him looking up into our stand.

    Today I’m feeling like that little kid yelling support from trackside again, only this time, my idol faces a much tougher fight. If anyone can win, he can. C’mon, Schumi!

    [Reply]

    Truth or Lies Reply:

    Lovely comment, really touching.

    Please God he will recover and get well over time.

    [Reply]

    Mobeen Shafaat Reply:

    Thank you for sharing such a touching story. May he live a long life. Can’t wait for him to recover and hearing the good news from doctors.

    [Reply]

    Snarf Reply:

    What a special race that was. It was one of my favorite Schumacher memories. The sheer force of will he showed that day was staggering.

    [Reply]

    Fernando "150%" Alonso Reply:

    I was speechless after reading your comment. I was not a fan during his firs F1 career, but seeing him coming back, I realise how big his love for this sport was. This news was something I never thought I will hear about Schumi. He somehow looked to me like being immortal.

    [Reply]

    ACx Reply:

    Indeed. It is drives like that, and Schumacher had many, which mark a driver out as being truly great. For me, it started with his first drive in a Jordan, in which he clearly got more out of that car than any other driver could even dream of. Immediately his talent was clear. I knew we finally had a driver to properly rival Senna.

    I’ll be honest, I never like him. But not once could I doubt his talent.

    [Reply]

    Rishi Reply:

    A very eloquent account of what a sportsman can mean to those who support him. I join the whole F1 community in praying for Michael’s full recovery, for his triumph in this toughest of battles, and my thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: radohc
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:28 am 

    Collin McRae, not McRace, altough nice nickname :)

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: ian
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:38 am 

    As he was skiing with his son, i would guess he wasn’t taking risks and that it was just an unlucky accident.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Arnie S
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:54 am 

    Get well soon Michael!

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Adam
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 11:30 am 

    Depailler was killed at Hockenheim, he did badly hurt himself hang gliding though

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: seifenkistler
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 11:43 am 

    His son was with him skiing. So i wonder did he really do extreme skiing at the accident?

    [Reply]

    Ed Reply:

    Depends how old his son is, when I was 17 I threw myself down stuff I wouldnt now, and its not uncommon for dads to try to keep up with their sons!

    [Reply]

    Mark V Reply:

    From CBC news: “The area where Schumacher was skiing is part of a web of trails that slice down through a vast and, in parts, very steep snowfield. Although challenging, the snowfield is not extreme skiing. The runs are broad and neatly tended, and the ungroomed area in between, known as off-piste — where the resort said Schumacher was found — is free of trees.”

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Die Scuderia
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 11:46 am 

    I think the why of it depends on many variables in life. Amongst these is “becoming comfortable with” any condition or set of. When I started working I was always a bit nervous about pressurised units, for example. Years later that has changed. I visited one of our facility that operates at about 4000 bar pressure (gauge). Not even a thought that this was indeed a potential hazard (of cause it was well contained but still…). I guess you get used to the nature of your speciality in life.

    DS

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Elie
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 

    The adrenalin rush that one feels when you find the limits and the endorphin rush that follows when you discover it is near or beyond what anyone has done before, is truly one of the greatest experiences. Your mind always wants it even when your body starts to fail/ age..let us hope that this sheer will to continue will drive Michael to recovery. Thoughts and prayers to him and his family at this most trying of times.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Kenneth M'Boy
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 12:38 pm 

    Come on, Michael, please pull through for your family, especially your kids who must have only just got to spend proper quality time with their jet setting dad. Very stunned and shocked at hearing the news today, particularly after my little boy got upset cause his Dad had to go to work and couldnt play this morning. These sort of events really put things into perspective. Our prayers are with and your family.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Nedder
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 12:48 pm 

    Like just about everyone else who loves motorsport, I’m deeply saddened by this turn of events. Love him or loathe him, it’s hard to deny he was one of the very best. If anyone can get out of this tight spot, it’s Schumi. We’re all rooting for you man!

    Thank you James, for keeping us all up to date on the situation. It can’t be an easy time for anyone who knows the man and his family… I’m sure I speak for millions when I say my thoughts and best wishes are with them all.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: goferet
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 12:55 pm 

    I guess it’s this swashbuckling adventurous spirit that makes racing drivers ideal for the job.

    I mean if you weren’t the adventurous type, travelling across the globe, meeting lots of new people would really getting trying after a while.

    As for Schumi, he is always a man’s man, going out there and doing stuff.
    However, in this case, I think he was just unlucky for skiing is something lots of people love to do for fun and isn’t particularly dangerous unless one is doing so competitively.

    The other examples of former drivers flying their planes, now that is what I would call risky and very unwise for an aircraft is a different game all together.

    In a way, I can understand why sports people get itchy feet for after retirement (or during a holiday), they feel the need to go out and explore because having retired at such a young age, one always has lots of free time to spend.

    All in all, hoping for some good news on Schumi’s condition for he said sometime back that he would savour his stats with his grandchildren.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Chris Styles
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 1:14 pm 

    Michael you brought me so much happiness that you will never know of. At a time when I was lost and down, it was YOU who brought me the one piece of happiness each fortnight. By supporting you & your Red Army at the Scuderia, you made me feel a part of something successful, something incredible and larger than life. You made me feel like a winner because I was supporting you. I was never more proud than one Sunday afternoon in 2006 at Interlagos :-)
    Michael you have brought happiness to millions & now each of us has our hearts and prayers with you, if I could trade places I would, now more than ever!!!
    Please PLEASE get better Mikey, & win this one too, not for us but for YOU!!!!

    All the respect in the world, from me to you, you deserve it all.

    Thank you Michael, Get Well Brother XoxoX

    Chris

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Panthe
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 1:41 pm 

    Hamilton tweets about his pop career and dogs all day … yet no word about Schumacher while every other F1 driver has.

    [Reply]

    Paul D Reply:

    Find it unbelievable when people say why haven’t certain people wished Schumacher well. You do know not everything has to be done publicly on twitter.

    [Reply]

    Nedder Reply:

    Jeez, get a grip… https://twitter.com/LewisHamilton/status/417692628126543872

    [Reply]

    Most Reply:

    That was way after many people on internet started asking why hamilton didnt say anything while everyone else did.

    So thats damage control at work.

    [Reply]

    Nedder Reply:

    Er, posted 8:24am, some hours before the complainant posted #24. But I kind of feel this sort of bickering is missing the point somewhat…? Look at what’s ACTUALLY going on. And get a grip.


  25.   25. Posted By: hero_was_senna
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 1:46 pm 

    I’m not religious but I am praying to whatever is out there to support this great human being during his hardest fight.
    A swift recovery Michael, forza forever

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: John Bond
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 2:28 pm 

    I hope you have a speedy recovery Schumi.

    “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by every moment that takes your breath away.”

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Matt W
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 2:46 pm 

    Praying for him to pull through. We lost two family members in a tragic hit and run earlier in the year so I know only too well the personal effect this will be having on his family.

    I hope for a happy outcome for all of them.

    [Reply]

    goferet Reply:

    @ Matt W

    Shoot man! Sorry for your loss.

    Our condolences.

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Sturmovik
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 3:09 pm 

    Well said James, the seeming invincibility and larger than life personalities of our racing heroes add to the shock when they are felled by relatively commonplace incidents. If I or anyone I know were injured skiing off piste we would think ‘well that’s what happens sometimes, that is why we go there in the first place,’ but when it happens to one of the greats, it doesn’t seem possible.

    Prayers for Michael, his family (I’m sure this was difficult for his son who was with him) and for those who care for him, that their decisions will be wise.

    [Reply]

    David Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: zombie
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 3:17 pm 

    I hope deep in his sleep Michael will remember the 90s when his car was usually a second off the Williams and Mclarens, but yet he engaged them in a season long struggle for the titles. I hope he’ll remember those “blitzkrieg” stints before and after pits that became his signature. Above all, i hope he realizes that the world saw him as one of the most, if not the most resilient and determined driver in the history of F1. Come on,Schumi, one last fight for the sake of millions of your fans ! Please don’t let us down !

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: ManOnWheels
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm 

    I think one can nowadays assume, that Formula-1 is hardly a sport on the edge of calamity anymore. It has become insanely safe despite the speeds involved. I think anything on bikes, be it mountain biking (especially downhill racing), riding BMX or fast road and motorbikes or jumping around on skateboards is much more dangerous than that. I have seen numerous people falling head first from 5 meters heights with only their helmets preventing their heads exploding like a pumpkin hit by a hammer and it happens a lot. I’m always astounded by what punishment the human body can take. And if it is for Motorsports, the real heroes on the edge of calamity do hill climbing. No offense meant.
    But for the sheer sensation of danger Formula-1 must be somewhere on the top end and I’m pretty sure part of this sensation, even if not perceived to be dangerous, is what these guys are seeking.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Alex
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 4:00 pm 

    My thoughts and best wishes are with his family. I pray that Michael will return to them in robust good health.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: anton
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 4:06 pm 

    Come on Michael, make this win 92 and Championship number 8. You can win this fight.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Sebee
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm 

    Intersting observation made on some sites about the body language of the doctors in the press converence.

    Hard to read into things like that obviously. But we did read from body language that Lewis is leaving McLaren so it’s an clue to keep in mind. Do you get the impression they were simply tired or concerned? It’s not just the body langauge of 1 individual here, but 4 professionals – which could give some indication.

    [Reply]

    Sturmovik Reply:

    It is hard to read, and I think its hyperbole from those web sites to be doing such speculation. Doctors and Neurosurgeons do not have easy jobs, healing the body is not always a sure thing; and it is all the more tense when they have someone of Michael’s stature under their care and everyone on the continent pressing them for an answer.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    I think you’re right. They are stressed and tired. But I also think they are trying to temper expecations in a complicated case – as all brain injuries are.

    I’m reading this now…
    >
    The doctors revealed that an initial operation relieved the effects of brain bleeding, but “sadly” they also noticed “various bilateral lesions”.

    I’ve also read that he went into a coma while being transported to the first hospital. That would indicate the seriousness of the impact. This fact of going into a coma apparently increases many risks significantly.

    I was really hoping that the helmet (hopefully same model like in many of the photos) would limit the surface area of the head exposed to impact. But who knows what he was wearing and how protective it was.

    I’m still very concerned about time window of injury to treatment and now this involentary coma. Looks like we’re in for a long period of unknowns and waiting.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Medical Experts I went on BBC shows with in last 18 hours say that if he makes it to 96hrs after the accident the threat to life diminishes quickly, then it’s a question of slow process of monitoring to see what the damage is to the brain.

    Sebee Reply:

    Oh boy…motor function in frontal lobe.

    >
    Rescuers were on hand within minutes, and found Schumacher conscious but “extremely agitated” and unable to answer questions. His limbs were moving involuntarily and his condition “rapidly worsened”.

    [Reply]

    Sammy Reply:

    Link anyone?

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Rudy
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 4:17 pm 

    My thoughts with the Schumacher family. It is a sad end-of-year piece of news. Schumi is a fighter and no doubt he will give his best.
    The racing world is united hoping to get good news from France.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: German Samurai
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 5:23 pm 

    This hasn’t really registered with me yet for some reason.

    It seems like it would be the cruelest way to go especially to his family. Survives 19 years of racing at the highest level of motorsport and it’s a family ski trip one year into retirement that has him fighting for his life.

    This is a guy who dipped into his pockets and donated $10 million after the 2004 tsunami, does all kinds of things for charity, a nice man by all accounts.

    Hoping for nothing short of a full recovery.

    [Reply]

    Ryan M Reply:

    Wow this sums up how I feel, not only a inspiration on the track but also off it.

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Joe_in_Miami
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 5:39 pm 

    He will make it!

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: jjpm
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 5:59 pm 

    Lets just hope that Michael’s destiny be identical to the one of his ex team-mate Karl Wendlinger :
    “Monaco 1994 – FIA doctors found Wendlinger unconscious, and although his vital signs were quickly stabilized, he remained in a coma for several weeks and did not drive in a race for the rest of the year. He had planned to make his comeback at the Japanese Grand Prix but testing revealed his neck was not strong enough.

    Wendlinger recovered from his injuries before the start of the 1995 Formula One season, where he would be driving at Sauber (now with Ford engines) alongside Frentzen. However, he performed poorly and was reluctantly replaced in the team before the Monaco Grand Prix, a year on from the accident, by Jean-Christophe Boullion. Peter Sauber then recalled Wendlinger for the final two races of the season in one last attempt to regain his pre-accident form, without success. These were his last races in Formula One.”
    (wikipedia)

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Hiten
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 6:02 pm 

    Get well soon Michael!

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Tim
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 6:22 pm 

    Well as James Hunt rightly put it: “The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. It’s a wonderful way to live. It’s the only way to drive; to live each day as if it’s your last.”

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Bayan
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 6:25 pm 

    Please please please get through this Schumi. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Goggomobil.
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 6:28 pm 

    Mr Allen ,your articles through out 2013
    were simply par-excellence,you should be
    congratulated and I for one do.
    In regard to Mr Schumacher I admire him for
    his “DARE” in all fields,as fair competitor
    he was not,particularly in F1 where his fame
    was derived from,let us be blunt about it.
    Mr Schumacher was in the right time,at the
    right place,and the right machinery and the
    rest is history.
    His believe in fitness at all times will
    serve him in a good stead,and he will pull
    through no question about it.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: zombie
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 6:55 pm 

    It is probably a good time to revisit what Mika Hakkinen said about Michael Schumacher in 2003. Mika after retiring from the sport at the end of 2001 said huge contributing factors in his retirement was the birth of his son, and Zanardi’s horrific crash in 2001. He said he couldnt understand what kept Michael going after having conquered pretty much every record in F1. And wondered if it was really worth taking so much risk week after week when you have nothing left to prove.

    I guess Michael was too much of an adrenaline junkie to let stay away from risks..and as someone said it is such an irony that after 36 years in motorsports and coming out of it relatively unscathed, he is now battling for his life due to a fall from a ski slope..

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Truth or Lies
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 6:56 pm 

    I’d like to sincerely thank James for dealing so sensitively and respectfully in his piece at the top of this article and for allowing regular fans to express their feelings at this awful time.

    Not since May 2 1994 have I seen Formula One dominate the front pages to such an extent and for that alone I am very frightened of the worst possible outcome. I shed a tear the day Michael announced his retirement last year, as being just a few years younger, it also meant the end of a particular era in my life.

    I grew up reading and listening to the exploits of Lauda and Villenueve but Schumacher was the F1 driver of my time, of my era and despite never actually meeting him, its still possible to feel some degree of association and shared emotion at his success, failures and frustration.

    That association now makes the pain and worry, if even from afar, very real for so many Motorsport fans around the world and I am very grateful that we have such an excellent resource as this to share our thoughts and feelings.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Thanks for sharing those thoughts

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: Zac
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 7:12 pm 

    Michael has been my hero since I was 6 years old (21 now), even though I’ve never met him, I feel like I know him so this really hurts. He’s been the biggest influence on my life, I’ve lived through every moment, good or bad but it would be one of the worst days of my life if he didnt make it. I’m praying for you.

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: JB
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 8:11 pm 

    I always felt really blessed to be living in an era to witness great heroes like Michael Schumacher achieves all his glory.

    Now, we are all hoping and praying for his safe recovery. Please get well soon. We all know you’re a man who give it all and you’re always the best!

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: Susie
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 8:36 pm 

    Such a sad day, what an awful thing to happen on a Christmas family holiday, can’t stop thinking of all the Sundays that Magical Michael used to light up for F1 fans, we all know how brave he is, and he’s always up for a battle! Come on Michael win this one for your family & all your fans! Praying for you

    [Reply]


  47.   47. Posted By: Rob
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 8:48 pm 

    Both the type of and place where he was “off piste” skiing was not “on the edge”

    [Reply]


  48.   48. Posted By: Jonathan Powell
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 8:51 pm 

    Hi James,
    Ive just watched your performance on mastermind so first of all well done on doing so well! Interestingly you we were asked about F1 surely just being a case of the driver with the best car winning each time and gave a wonderful explanation of how that wasnt the case and that it was about the best drivers finding that line between being on the limit but not over it which was what captivates us all!

    It links nicely to this article and the current Schumacher situation.You mentioned Damon Hill and his father sparng to mind as somebody who lost his life in a plane crash so again not from racing itself but from living a life always on the edge!

    Keep up the great work,your passion and enthusiasm is what keeps us all coming back to your site.

    I will be donating to CLIC Sargent via your just giving page.

    All the best,
    Jonathan

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Many thanks for that.

    [Reply]


  49.   49. Posted By: For sure
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 9:19 pm 

    It’s one of those weeks. In other news Anderson Silva (Schumacher of MMA) severely broke his leg, one of those freak incidents. And then I heard Schumi in comma.
    Something terrible happened to my two favorite sportsman.
    It’s kinda remind me of the weekend that Massa injuried and another racer died. Very strange.
    Anyway thoughts and prayers are with both men.

    On a side note, it’s nice to see that critics don’t come out and bash Schumi at this moment. I guess the perspective is the word

    [Reply]


  50.   50. Posted By: eric
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 9:47 pm 

    I wake up everyday with an autographed lithograph from the 2000 season in our home. Fly Schumi Fly! He has been my sporting hero for a very long time and I can’t comprehnd him going anytime soon….

    [Reply]


  51.   51. Posted By: Benalf
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:02 pm 

    Let’s try hard, everyone of us, in having prays and goodwill thoughts to help Schumi to get out of this incident with the least damage possible. I really believe it would be a game changer. Let’s make all that positive energy to flow around him and help his body heal.
    Get back safe and sound Schumi.

    [Reply]


  52.   52. Posted By: Grant D
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:15 pm 

    May I change the topic, for a moment, and congratulate you James for becoming a ‘Mastermind’ on BBC TV tonight.
    I watched it because I wanted to know if I could beat you on my passionate subject of F1.
    Then, shock horror, it became clear that your specialist subject was Roald Dahl. So my delighted wife took you on instead on her passionate subject. But you outscored her.

    Well done and congratulations for your charity.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Many thanks! It was a great experience

    [Reply]


  53.   53. Posted By: Box Box Box
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:17 pm 

    Crazy day, I find myself checking the internet hourly which really surprised me, I really hope he can pull through and read all the support he is receiving from everybody. It would be great to see him attending the first GP of the year.

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: panagiotis
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:38 pm 

    Schumi would win again, we are with you champ… we know you will win, you always do…!!

    [Reply]


  55.   55. Posted By: Howard P
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 10:40 pm 

    Here’s to a speedy recovery. Michael has the fighting spirit coarsing through his veins, and according to one of the neurosurgeons in the news, psychological strength would help his recovery.

    [Reply]


  56.   56. Posted By: Stuart burton
        Date: December 30th, 2013 @ 11:07 pm 

    It’s a strange time to be an f1 fan today isn’t it? As a commenter above has said- the last time f1 was in the news so much was 1994.
    Thinking earlier today I’ve probably spent more time listening/watching/arguing over mac than I have many of my own friends and relatives due to 20 years of Sunday afternoons spent in front of the tv.
    I’ve never been a massive msc fan but during his comeback I did come to like the new relaxed man we all saw, and I grew to appreciate his massive achievements. I hope he pulls through for all if iur sakes but mainly for his family, get well soon schumi, much love.

    [Reply]


  57.   57. Posted By: Feral
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 12:29 am 

    Michael, win this one for your family, especially for your son he needs his dad more than anyone now.
    They say at a home race fans gives you something extra special, this time you have the world rooting for you.
    Get Well Soon Schumi.

    [Reply]


  58.   58. Posted By: Jim
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 3:01 am 

    You have to wonder what the state of the art is in ski helmets.

    The obvious question concerns what level of protection an F1 helmet or top of the line motorcycle helmet would have provided in the same circumstances. Just a wild guess but I’d venture to say that the damage might have been significantly less with a ‘real’ helmet.

    Accidents like this just go to show that the current levels of protection in speed sports are anything but adequate – case in point being bicycle helmets, most of which only fulfill a basic legal requirement and nothing more.

    As these horrendous accidents continue unabated, somebody out there somewhere will invent a cranial airbag device like the new generation MotoGP motorcycle racing suits employ that can sense an impending collision and deploy their safety measures before impact.

    If these devices aren’t improved for speed sports like skiing where you essentially operate without brakes, it’s just a hugely tragic waste waste of ingenuity.

    [Reply]


  59.   59. Posted By: Pat Palozzi
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 4:05 am 

    All the best to Michael,you are still the best.Good luck and a speedy recovery.

    [Reply]


  60.   60. Posted By: Felix Taggert
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 4:48 am 

    I wish him well. Too young to die or live in a vegetable state.

    [Reply]


  61.   61. Posted By: Simon Lord
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 5:12 am 

    David Purley is surely the prime example here, James?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Yes, there are many

    [Reply]


  62.   62. Posted By: Goob
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 7:17 am 

    Modern F1 suppresses this ‘Adventurer’ spirit…

    I used to literally lose my breath watching amazing overtakes, and seeing a driver fight on the limit of the vehicle… modern F1 doesn’t have the same effect at all…

    Modern F1 is about the Button type WDC… it has no real meaning. It’s pointless to be honest.

    Michael was at the peak of his power when F1 was still a test of skill. I really enjoyed all the Michael years… F1 owes a lot Michael.

    [Reply]


  63.   63. Posted By: Dave Aston
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 10:19 am 

    I feel it is too soon for this article, and it is inappropriate.

    [Reply]


  64.   64. Posted By: Eff1osaurau
        Date: December 31st, 2013 @ 11:14 am 

    James, just wish to say thanks for the way you allow us fans to vent our feelings and emotions, and the sensitive manner in which you are dealing with this topic.

    Michael Schumacher represents so many things to many of us…hero to some, villain to others (as far as he kept beating “our” driver), but great to all.

    I have the same feeling of dread as i did in 1994 when Senna had his accident, and as much as Senna and Prost are part of my teenage years, so Schumacher was part, or IS part, of my adult years of following F1.

    My sincere and best wishes to him and Corinne and the children. I pray that the Lord’s will be done in this case, and that He guides the hands of the specialists as they work to save Michael.

    [Reply]

    gpfan Reply:

    Funny that you mention Corrinne
    and earlier, Karl Wendlinger was
    mentioned. Did they not live
    together?

    Or, was that H-H Frentzen?

    [Reply]

    Eff1osaurau Reply:

    I stand corrected, but Corinne was in a relationship with H-H Frentzen back in the early days when he and Schumacher just started in formula one…i recall they raced together in the WSPC for Mercedes (the brutla but lovely Mercedes C9)…

    Schumacher wooed Corinne and apparently that caused a rift between himself and H-H which never really recovered…

    Be that as it maym i see good news is that Schumacher is stablem although still critical…each passing day means his chances at recovery improve…

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    Thank you for your insight and words, James.

    I will say from the outset – I am a Michael Schumacher fan, and have been since I was 9-years-old (1994). I have watched on and shared the highest of highs and lowest of lows, and to this day can say I have had the priviledge of watching the greatest driver in Formula One history. I could see beyond the agenda of British media when they reported about him being cold and arrogant. I shed tears with him as he equalled Senna’s 41 victories at the Italian Grand Prix in 2000. I saw the strength of character when he won the 2003 San Marino Grand Prix only hours after learning his mother had passed away. I felt the heartache as his Ferrari stalled on the front row of the Suzuka Grand Prix in 1998… I have felt it all, and I am sharing Corrina, Gina-Maria, Mick, Rolf, and Ralf’s heartache now.

    Incidents like this remind us of how fragile life really is. Michael accepted the risk in driving a Formula One car. If anything, he felt in control behind the wheel and did not race for the “rush of adrenaline”, as he did not feel that rush in moments of control.

    The saddest thing for me is thinking about how Michael and Ralf lost their mother, Elisabeth, in 2003. She had a fall at her home in Kerpen and had emergency surgery on her brain. She was in a coma for several days but sadly passed away on the morning of the San Marino Grand Prix. The strength of character shown by Michael that day made me love him all the more.

    Stay strong, Michael. You are a fighter! x


  65.   65. Posted By: gpfan
        Date: January 1st, 2014 @ 11:35 pm 

    Hey Jimmy!
    Sorry … James.

    As usual, the regular readers are
    rather knowledgeable and informing.

    One may have noticed that I do not
    post much. I’d like to keep it that
    way. As much as I enjoy the reader
    comments, I do not wish to comment.
    Is it possible for you to get one’s
    IT thingy to just add +/- or thumbs
    options to the site?

    Thank you for reading this and your
    time. GB MS.

    Andy … sorry … Andrew. ;)

    [Reply]

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