It is exactly a week since Michael Schumacher fell and hit his head in a skiing accident in France; the German remains in a “stable but critical” condition, according to his manager, Sabine Kehm.
The FIA President Jean Todt, who cut short a New Year holiday in Bali to fly to Schumacher’s side, has returned to Paris after five days spent with his former protege and his family in Grenoble’s CHU hospital.
Kehm has angrily refuted claims by former F1 driver Philippe Streiff that Schumacher’s life is “no longer in danger” – a notice he claims to have received from the senior medic attending to Schumacher, Professor Gerard Saillant, a very close friend of Todt’s.
Taking full control of the news agenda, Kehm has insisted that the only credible reports on his condition will come from the family and medics attending the German and only then when there is something new to say.
But the fact that Todt feels he can leave Schumacher’s side at this point, could be taken in a positive light, as far as his friend’s condition is concerned.
Meanwhile there appears to have been a development in understanding what caused Schumacher’s accident, although caution is always required in such situations.
According to Der Spiegel in Germany, a 35 year old German flight attendant was filming his girlfriend skiing on the piste in Meribel and Schumacher’s accident is captured in the background.
This version of events has Schumacher travelling at no more than 20km/h and veering into the off-piste area between a blue run and a red run, which appears not to be well marked. This would appear to support Kehm’s assertion last week that the seven times F1 champion was not going quickly when he crashed.
The German has handed his video to the authorities investigating the incident. The Schumacher family has also handed over a Go Pro camera, which was mounted on Schumacher’s helmet, although there is no indication at this point of whether he had it switched on at the time.
While all the family’s focus is on Schumacher’s condition, clearly they have an eye on the aftermath and central to that will be to assess whether there was any negligence on the part of the resort in not clearly delineating the piste from the off-piste area, particularly with the presence of rocks in the off piste zone.