What We Want To See Come Out From A Formula One Ownership Change
So, Formula One appears really close to being sold. That’s a pretty big deal considering that Formula One remains the pinnacle of motor sports racing. It may not be the most popular at this point in time, but it still holds the biggest sway among all racing series on a global scale. Yes, I know NASCAR and Indy 500 are the two most popular ones in the US, but F1 takes the cake on a global scale. It’s a “football vs football” comparison, only on four wheels.
Ok, about that sale. It’s worth pointing out that the reported “number” in the sale is $8 billion. Personally, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing when you take into account the fact that the Ultimate Fighting Championship was just sold for $4 billion to a group led by talent agency WME-IMG. Considering the status and exclusivity of Formula One, I’m led to believe that either that group overpaid for the UFC or Liberty Media is getting a bargain with the $8 billion price for Formula One.
In any case, it’s going to be interesting to see how this transaction closes and the details that will come out of it. In the mean time, the pending transaction does provide us with the time and opportunity to talk about what might happen in Formula One if it does end up changing owners as it’s being widely reported. On the surface, don’t expect any drastic changes because the current 2016-2017 is on-going.
But moving forward? That’s where things become interesting, especially if the owners are as pro-active as I expect them to be in addressing some of the issues plaguing the sport these days. In light of this, I’ve come up with a mix of predictions and recommendations on what I think is going to happen once Formula One is sold to Liberty Media.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Liberty Media On The Cusp Of Buying Formula One For $8 Billion
Formula 1 looks set to be sold to a U.S. media company in an $8.4 billion (£6.3 billion) deal – and the move could herald the departure of long-standing F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula One could find itself with a new owner very soon after multiple reports have declared a pending sale by controlling firm and private equity group CVC Capital Partners to U.S.-based media empire Liberty Media Corporation for an amount believed to be in the neighborhood of $8.5 billion.
The deal has yet to be finalized and other parties looking to make a play in acquiring the racing series are still in the hunt. That said, there’s growing momentum that CVC is on the inside line in the long-rumored acquisition of Formula One. The full parameters of the sale, according to The Financial Times, comes with an initial deal revolving around Liberty Media acquiring 10 to 15 percent of Formula One with an agreement in place to take full control of the series in the future. CVC Capital currently has a 35 percent stake in Delta Topco, the company that owns the Formula One Group.
Other parties are also in the running and there have been suggestions that CVC is in separate negotiations with some of them, including investment company RSE Ventures, which owns the Miami Dolphins. Likewise, a Qatari consortium is also in the mix, as is another private equity firm whose identity has yet to be revealed.
In the event a sale to Liberty Media pushes through, there are expectations that a change in leadership will follow. Sky Sports reported that current F1 chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe will be replaced in his role by media executive Chase Carey with Brabeck-Letmathe staying on the board as a non-executive director. Then there’s the status of Bernie Ecclestone, the sport’s face for the better part of four decades and himself a minority owner in Formula One. No specific details have been revealed regarding Ecclestone’s fate if a sale is made, but senior F1 figures believe that he’ll remain on board in some capacity even if the sale pushes through.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Lamborghini CEO Shoots Down Formula One Entry
Lamborghini may have Stefano Domenicali at the helm as its new chief executive officer, but even having the man who once took charge of rival Ferrari’s Formula One team isn’t enough for the Italian automaker to consider entering motor racing’s highest level of competition. Domenicali himself said as much in a conversation with AutoWeek, saying that Formula One “is not a priority” for the Italian automaker.
The new CEO’s statements are not different from his predecessor, Stephan Winkelmann, who also shut down any possibility linking Lamborghini back to Formula One for the first time in 20-plus years.
Sure, it would look cool to see Lamborghini return to Formula One, but there are a multitude of reasons that can be tied into its refusal to make the jump. Domenicali talked about “other priorities” and that’s true, both from a manufacturers and motorsports perspective. Right now, the biggest and most important priority is to expand its production capabilities with the impending arrival of the Urus SUV, which is projected to be the biggest volume model of the automaker. Having the facility and the resources in place to accommodate the SUV’s production is important for Lambo to continue functioning to its normal capacity. That also ties into its two existing models – the Aventador and the Huracán – as well as the multitude of special edition models it routinely creates.
Then there’s Lamborghini’s motorsports priority. It’s easy to overlook the company’s absence from Formula One and dismiss its motor sports credentials. That couldn’t be further from the truth though. Lamborghini is heavily invested in the sport. It builds GT3 race cars for competition. It has its own single-make series (the Super Trofeo). It also has an in-house driver development program that goes all the way to the grassroots level, specifically the recently launched Kart Driver’s Program.
Based on all of these, Domenicali does offer a fair assessment of what Lamborghini’s priorities are and how those priorities take precedent over any ambition to enter the chaotic world of Formula One.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Here Are The Changes To The 2017 Formula One Race Cars: Video
The 2017 Formula One season is shaping up to be a watershed moment for the entire sport as sweeping changes are in order to make the races more competitive. Sure, we won’t be seeing the controversial halo protective device anymore, but the overall makeup of the actual race cars that will be competing next season will be dramatically different from the versions being used in the current season.
Sky Sports recently took a close look at the major changes for the 2017 Formula One cars and their respective tires. Basically, the cars have been designed to look faster and more aggressive and so, rules have put in place to extend the track width of the cars from the current requirement of 1.8 meters (almost 6 feet) to 2.0 meters (a little over 6.5 feet). F1 teams achieved that by having wider front and rear tires to reduce understeer and improve mechanical grip that will be needed to cope with the increased cornering speeds. The front wing for the 2017 F1 cars will also be wider by 0.50 feet and will feature in a swept back profile to make it less sensitive to the difficult racing conditions that lie ahead. Likewise, the rear wing will also look markedly different as they will be lower and wider. The new size of the wing will be able to better complement the larger diffuser and the bigger barge boards to increase downforce throughout the car.
With these changes, the 2017 F1 race cars are expected to be faster around corners than they have been since the mid 2000s. The changes do come at a cost of adding almost 50 pounds to the weight of the car, making them more than a handful to drive. But since we’re talking about some of the best racers in the world competing in the pinnacle of motor sports, I don’t think that’s going to be too much of an adjustment for these guys. At the very least, we should see some more entertaining races next season, especially around those corners where speeds are likely to pick up, allowing for more of those breathtaking overtaking opportunities that have become rare in recent reasons.
Bernie Ecclestone’s Mother-In-Law Rescued; No Ransom Paid
Last week, we reported that Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law, Aparecida Schunck, was abducted near her home in the Interlagos neighborhood of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In exchange for her return, the kidnappers demanded 120 million Brazilian Reals, or roughly $36.5 million, to be paid in pound sterling separated into four individual bags. Now, it appears as though the kidnappers won’t be getting anything but cold, hard justice, as Brazilian police have apparently freed Ms. Schunck completely unharmed.
Bernie Ecclestone, the billionaire chief behind Formula One, is one of the richest men in sports, and has been the target of kidnapping and extortion in the past. The $36.5 million ransom was reportedly the highest ransom ever recorded in Brazil, a country notorious for kidnappings.
According to a report from the BBC, police managed to trace phone calls between the kidnappers and the victim’s family, pinpointing her location to a house in Cotia, a town just outside Sao Paulo. Police then executed “a major” operation to free her, which was successful. No ransom was paid, and two suspects were put into custody.
Further developments revealed earlier today allege that Jorge Eurico da Silva, a helicopter pilot with a history working for Ecclestone’s family, was responsible for coordinating the kidnapping.
Upon her release, Ms. Schunck told media, “I only ask for these bandits to be jailed so they can’t abduct anyone else in Sao Paulo.”
Ms. Schunck was abducted July 22nd and was held for nine days.
Continue reading for the full story.
Formula One To Revert Back To 2015 Qualifying Format
After two disastrous showings of the new qualifying format, Formula One teams have unanimously agreed to go back to the qualifying system from the 2015 season. The change will be made with immediate effect, which means that the old format will return as early as the Chinese Grand Prix on April 16, 2016.
The change was made after all the teams collectively railed against the current format, which Formula One thought would jolt some much-needed excitement back into the qualifying sessions. But the exact opposite has happened as teams have been reluctant to go all-out in qualifying, opting to preserve their tires and engine for the actual race. As a result, the latter parts of the qualifying sessions have become devoid of any action whatsoever as the checkered flags were waved on empty tracks. It happened in Melbourne and again in Bahrain.
Turns out, the teams have had enough of it and it seems that Formula One management has agreed to jump ship as well, at least for the remainder of the season. The proposal now falls on the desk of the F1 Commission, which is expected to approve it in the coming days as teams begin their preparations for the Chinese Grand Prix.
That said, proposals for different ideas are also being welcomed and if the world championships are settled well in advance of the last few races of the season, the remaining qualifying rounds for the subsequent races could be used as testing sessions for different qualifying formats. But for now, it’s back to the 2015 format, something everybody seems to be in favor of.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
New Formula One Qualifying Format Tossed Out After Disastrous Debut
When Formula One decided to dramatically alter qualifying sessions for the 2016 season, many thought it would jolt some drama back to a format that had already become too predictable, according to some. Turns out, after just one round into the new season, the new qualifying format has been thrown out and the old system will be brought back in time for the next round in Bahrain. To say that the new format was a disappointment would be a massive understatement. The words “sham,” “disastrous,” and “rubbish” were used and even then, none of those words could probably encapsulate the awkwardness brought by the new format.
Here’s what happened: the new elimination-style format was supposed to feature exciting wheel-to-wheel racing because of the rule that a driver is knocked out of the session after every 90 seconds during the three timed sessions. To be fair, the first session was actually exciting because all 22 cars got in some laps. But as the field whittled down, the excitement left with it. Less cars on the track meant less action and with four minutes left in Q3, it was just down to the two Ferraris and the two Mercedes cars. But Ferrari – smartly – decided not to send out its cars knowing that Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap would be hard to beat. Instead, they opted to park their cars and save up their tires for the race. Without Ferrari, Mercedes did the same thing, leading to a completely empty track in the final minutes of the session.
The whole format was immediately and roundly criticized by just about everybody involved in the series. The drivers hated it. The teams hated it. Fans hated it. Even Bernie Ecclestone, the driving force behind the new qualifying format, couldn’t even find any silver lining to hang his hat on. And just as soon as the new format was introduced, it was thrown to the trash just as fast. F1 team bosses met after during race day and unanimously decided to ditch the new system. As such, the previous system will be re-introduced for the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 2, 2016.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Fernando Alonso Walks Off Unscathed After Horrific Crash At Australian GP
Fernando Alonso is lucky to be alive. The Spanish driver admitted to such after a horrific crash at the Australian Grand Prix. The debacle left his McLaren race car completely obliterated. Alonso was engaged in a heated duel with Haas Racing driver Esteban Gutierrez in the 17th lap of the race when his right tire clipped the back of Gutierrez’s car. That contact sent the number 14 McLaren-Honda race car straight into the wall where it smashed to pieces before flipping multiple times and flying all the way to another wall at the end of the run-off area. The car eventually rested upside down in a smoldering heap.
Alonso miraculously walked out of the crash as soon as the car came to a rest, drawing huge sighs of relief from his family, team, and everyone who saw the incredible crash. Watching in real time, it’s easy to see why a lot of people were worried about Alonso. The car not only smacked the wall at high speed, but the momentum of that crash caused the car to flip over multiple times in the air before crashing violently into the dirt.
The crash immediately brought out the red flag, causing the entire race to be stopped temporarily. It eventually resumed with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg taking the checkered flag ahead of teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton. But with respect to the two Mercedes drivers and third-place finisher Sebastian Vettel, Alonso’s crash has become the main talking point from the race as it has once again put a spotlight on the Formula One’s move to improve the safety conditions for its drivers during race weekends.
Alonso was quick to give credit for the advancements the sport has made with regards to the safety of the cars themselves. Anybody who saw the crash likely counted on the worst before seeing Alonso walk away unhurt. The crash also brought flashbacks to the accident that led to the death of Jules Bianchi. It may have been different circumstances, but seeing such a wreck makes people think of the worst-case scenarios. Alonso said so himself, so if there’s anybody who knows how lucky he is to still be alive, it’s definitely him.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Formula One’s Halo Cockpit On Schedule For 2017 Debut
Formula One’s halo cockpit protection is on course to make its debut in the 2017 season, putting a lid on the increasing demand for open-cockpit race cars to receive additional protection in the wake of the high-profile deaths of racers Jules Bianchi, Justin Wilson, and Dan Wheldon. The halo-shaped hoop has already undergone extensive testing and it appears that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we’ll be seeing it on Formula One race cars beginning next year.
From a functional purpose, the carbon fiber halo-style hoop was designed to prevent certain types of debris from reaching the driver in the event of a crash. It would be integrated directly into the car, but it does have a hinged locking mechanism on the central supporting stanchion located in front of the drivers’ head so it can be quickly removed if the situation calls for it. Concerns that the stanchion may hinder the driver’s visibility were taken into account in the design of the halo hoop, which is why the stanchion is reportedly so close to the driver that it would have no effect on his line of sight.
Previous tests were done on other concepts, including fighter plane-style canopies that covered the entire cockpit. But fears of debris rebounding and flying high into the air poised a safety risk on other cars and spectators and the difficulty of accessing an injured driver caused those concepts to be shot down. Red Bull Racing, for its part, is currently developing an alternative concept, but as Whiting told Motorsport.com, that concept has never been tested and, as such, is “considerably further behind in development.”
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2003 McLaren Mercedes-Benz MP4-15 SSC/96 Formula 1 Race Car for Sale
Every now and then when you’re browsing auction sites or the classifieds and you come across something unexpected. Well, that very thing happened today when I was browsing Ebay. To my amazement, I found a 2003 McLaren Mercedes-Benz MP4-15 that is apparently authentic, and was driven by Kimi Raikkonen with the No. 6 livery during the 2003 F1 season.
With a starting bid of $270,000, I thought to myself “no way.” As it turns out, everything seems to be legitimate. The car is currently located in Brazil and has all of the import/export paperwork ready to go. According to the listing, the car can be exported worldwide, but there is one small catch – it doesn’t have the engine.
That might be a deal-breaker for most, but with the right amount of time and know-how, it wouldn’t be too difficult to drop an engine in there. The listing doesn’t dive too much into the car’s history, but it does state that the car is completely stock, and all parts are original. So, the real question here is: How badly would you like to own a Mercedes Formula 1 car?
Today’s Formula One statistics may be dominated by seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, but most enthusiasts still look back on the golden days of F1 when asked to nominated the greatest-ever F1 driver. Jim Clark is often included among the best, particularly because at the time of his death he had won more Grand Prix races and achieved more pople positions than any other driver. His legacy includes two F1 World Championships, two podiums at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and, more importantly, the ability to drive just about any type of vehicle, from single-seaters to rally cars and track-prepped saloons. He was Britain’s own Mark Donohue.
Although the world of motorsport lost Clark nearly 50 years ago, he is still celebrated around Europe with heavy support from the Jim Clark Trust. In 2015, the trust marked the 50th anniversary of Clark’s second F1 World Championship title — achieved in 1965 with Team Lotus — during a special event in Britain. Among other activities, the organizers showcased Clark’s Lotus 25, which he drove from 1962 through 1965, and invited Sir Jackie Stewart to drive it in honor of his former rival and friend. There’s no actual racing footage as Stewart only paraded the Lotus in front of those attending the event, but those of you who like 1960s F1 cars and their V-8 engines should find the footage enticing.
Click the play button above to watch 75-year-old Stewart drive one of the sports most iconic cars.
Typically, it’s the drivers and sometimes the team principles that get all the face-time during a Formula 1 season. Occasionally, a member of the pit crew who fails to tighten a wheel nut will get his cringing mug on TV too, but that’s usually not ideal. For every one of these people, there are hundreds more on every team working to ensure each grand prix weekend goes off without a hitch.
To introduce us to these people, Infiniti and Red Bull Racing put together this fascinating series of six videos, each highlighting a specific team member and his or her role. Formula 1 teams are marvels of modern logistics. On top of keeping drivers in top physical condition and continuous car development, personnel, cars, transporters and millions of dollars worth of equipment have to be shipped from one corner of the world to another within narrow timetables.
If you’re interested in knowing how it all gets done, this series is definitely worth your time. First we meet senior composites technician Stuart Jones, who oversees the many carbon-fiber components that comprise an F1 car. Matt Disney is the parts and logistics team leader and ensures that any needed parts reach the team regardless of where they are in the world. Senior garage technician Nigel Hope is basically the head roadie of the team, and manages the packing and transportation of about 50 tons worth of freight to each race. Sarah Cortenay works from the headquarters as the engineering support team leader and provides vital data to the pit wall during each session. Stuart Smith is driver Daniel Ricciardo’s performance coach, and ensures Daniel is mentally and physically prepared for each race. Lastly, we meet physiotherapist John Hammond, who monitors the health of the team in often challenging conditions.
Unfortunately, Formula 1 is one of those sports in which you can do everything right, and things still don’t come together. It’s still early in the season, but Infinity Red Bull Racing has struggled mightily so far. The team was plagued with braking woes in the first few races, and there’s been plenty of finger-pointing between team principle Christian Horner and engine supplier Renault over the performance of this year’s power unit. Red Bull has also been consistently out-paced by their supposed “junior” team at Toro Rosso, but with smart and dedicated individuals like these, we have little doubt the team will be back on championship form soon.
As a global phenomenon, the chances of getting a career in Formula One must be pretty difficult even if you’re an ace race car driver, but the Mercedes AMG Petronas team has just announced a unique contest to fill an opening to become the team’s YouTube presenter. Aside from an obvious passion for racing and the desire to be an on-air personality, the only real requirement for the job is that he or she must be fluent in both English and German.
To get the team’s attention, all you have to do is create a video showing off your personality as well as your love of Formula One. Whoever gets the job will have behind-the-scenes access to the Mercedes AMG Petronas race team, with job responsibilities that include interviewing drivers and crew.
If this sounds like that you’re interested in, be sure to submit your video by May 19.
If you weren’t fond of the livery McLaren-Honda used in the first four races of the 2015 Formula One season, then you’ll be happy to know the Brits just unveiled a new paint scheme for the MP4/30 race car. Initially launched with a chrome-and-black livery highlighted by a red stripe, which McLaren described as a combination that "firmly contextualizes McLaren’s brand in the 21st century," the Honda-powered single-seater switched to a more sinister appearance. The change is quite dramatic, as McLaren abandoned the two-tone paint scheme for a full Graphite Grey suit complemented by Fluorescent Red stripes and "speedmarks."
Don’t let those names fool you, though, this new livery is a lot more badass than it sounds, as the grey is dark enough to appear as black, while the bright red has a strong hue of orange in certain light conditions. The layout itself is also unique, with the trademark "speedmarks" on the side pods looking like a pair of butterfly wings from above.
In case you’re wondering why McLaren chose to change the livery only four races into the new season, it’s because drivers had issues with the chrome paint due to both sunlight and floodlights used during night races.
"We have revised our car’s livery, improving its visual impact, optimizing it for not only bright sunshine but also for the floodlights increasingly used in twilight and night races," a McLaren spokesman told Motorsport.
The new livery will make its official race debut at the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10th.
Continue reading for the full story.
2015 F1 Practice Sessions: What You Need to Know
The last few weeks have been the open practice sessions for the upcoming 2015 season of Formula One, and there has been quite a bit of excitement. 2014 was a rough season for most of the competitors, thanks to the massive rule change to smaller, turbocharged engines, aerodynamic changes that reduced downforce, and new fuel restrictions.
This new season sees subtler rule changes, so teams are more prepared for what is coming next. That said, there was a huge driver mix-up at the end of last season, and this is the first chance for drivers to really test their new cars. In short, this is the first chance spectators get to see who has improved, who looks promising to win, and who is going to have new challenges to overcome.
We only have two weeks until the first race of the season, so keep reading to find out what we learned these last three weeks, and find out what you need to watch for in Melbourne.
Keep reading to learn more about the F1 2015 Pre-season testing results.
Motorsport is often viewed as the crucible where the latest automotive technology is forged. Through great heat and pressure, the base metal of the everyday vehicle is transmuted into creations that are lighter, stronger, and above all, faster. The desire for the glory of the checkered flag drives not only the individual behind the wheel, but those who create the machine as well. Racing pushes the limits of engineering and scientific advancement to new and greater heights, and as a result, mere mortals like you and I reap the benefits.
Many regard Formula 1 as the highest form of motorsport. This is for many reasons. First, there’s the money. The average F1 team spends several hundred million dollars in its annual efforts. The best drivers in the world flock to F1, with the crème de la crème earning tens of millions per year.
Second, there’s the history. Since the fifties, F1 has been pushing the limits of what four wheels and an engine are capable of accomplishing. In that time, it’s seen enormous changes and huge evolutions, but the result is always the same: better automotive technology.
Which brings us to our third point: the speed. F1 cars hold lap records at pretty much every track they race on. The modern F1 car can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in less than two seconds, reaching a top speed well over 200 mph. But the truly impressive thing about these vehicles is the way they take a bend, with up to 3.5 Gs of lateral grip possible thanks to outrageous aero. The faster these things go, the harder they grip.
F1 cars are essentially ground-bound rocket ships. The technology they use is as advanced as anything you’d find destined for orbit. That’s why in this week’s tech guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at what makes them tick.
Click "Continue Reading" to learn more about F1 cars.
Fernando Alonso’s new Formula One relationship with McLaren Honda is off to a rocky start. After several malfunctions limited time in testing, Alonso has now been involved in a violent collision. The accident happened Sunday afternoon right before the lunch break, when Alonso left the track at Turn Three of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This turn is normally a 150 mph turn, and it is widely regarded as one of the most challenging corners on the calendar. Thankfully it appears that Alonso was traveling at a far slower speed than the usual 150 mph; Sebastian Vettel was directly behind Alonso on track and stated “The speed was slow - maybe 150kph (93 mph).”
After the collision Alonso was airlifted to the local hospital for testing, and he was held overnight as a precaution. According to Team Boss Eric Boullier, Alonso suffered a concussion, but otherwise was unharmed. It’s good to hear that he received very few injuries, and he should easily be able to compete this season.
Now that the 2014 season of Formula One has officially come to an end, the mystery surrounding the various drivers being shuffled between teams has finally come to a close. Sebastian Vettel is moving to Ferrari to occupy the seat vacated by Fernando Alonso, and in turn Alonso is headed to McLaren. With the announcement, there was a lot of discussion on who would drive with the Spaniard. Jensen Button is not aging as gracefully on the grid as many might have hoped and his rookie partner Kevin Magnussen would take the seat.
This is quite easily the best move McLaren could have ever made, but it’s a terrible decision for Formula One racing and its fans.
I promise I’m not daft, you just need to look at what keeps the sport entertaining and interesting. We love underdogs, we love new heroes, and we love great rivalries. By adding more names to the roster and changing out the old guard, we can keep creating new and exciting stories to get invested in. Instead we are stuck in a group of classic names with new logo strapped to their helmets fighting over the exact same thing they always have been.
Click past the jump to read more about why this change is great for McLaren and terrible for F1.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have gotten together with Codemasters to celebrate the end of the 2014 Formula One season by giving away 12 copies of the new F1 2014 game. We have six copies of the Xbox 360 version and six copies of the PS3 version. We reviewed the game a few weeks ago and felt it wasn’t a huge improvement over last year, but it was still worth playing; especially if you are an F1 fan. Plus hey, free video games.
All you have to do to win is "Like" this article post on TopSpeed.com’s Facebook page (you can find that right here). You can choose Xbox 360, PS3, or Both.
In two weeks we will pick winners for all 12 copies and notify winners by email to get shipping addresses. Now sadly, this contest is being limited to the lower 48 states of the U.S. The games are all NTSC Region locked and international shipping and customs cause issues when shipping outside of the country. Sorry guys, we know we have lots of great and awesome readers in other countries, and we love you guys a TON. We just couldn’t make it work this time. I promise we tried though.
Good luck to all the entrants. Everyone here at TopSpeed is rooting for you to win.
With 2014 coming to a close, we’re inching closer and closer to the one-year occasion of Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident that left the seven-time F1 World Champion in a medically induced coma for six months. Schumi was awoken out of his coma in June 2014, but recent comments made by friend and ex-F1 driver Philippe Streiff indicates that little progress has been made since Michael regained consciousness.
Speaking to a French radio station, Streiff, who himself is bound to a wheelchair after a racing crash in 1989 left him paralyzed, indicated that Schumacher is “in a wheelchair” and continues to have “memory problems and speech problems”.
“He is getting better but everything is relative,” Streiff added. “It’s very difficult. He can’t speak.”
It’s a sobering reminder that everyone is fallible, even sporting icons like Schumacher. His horrific skiing accident has forever changed his and his family’s lives. Even as he continues to recover, his recovery shouldn’t be measured in weeks or months, but in years, as Jean-Francois Payen, one of Schumi’s attending physicians, alluded to previously.
At this point, we’re just hoping and praying that Schumacher regains even a semblance of his pre-accident life. We’re not hoping for him to start racing again; a simple word, or maybe a few unaided steps is what we’re asking for now. Any progress, however incremental, is big progress.
Keep fighting, Schumi! Your tifosi continues to root for your recovery!