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F1 legend Michael Schumacher is trying to win 'toughest race' ever, says ex-Ferrari boss

As Luca di Montezemolo, ex-Ferrari president, was inducted into the Automotive "Hall of Fame", he dedicated his award to the ailing Formula One driver and seven-time world champion Schumacher.

As Luca di Montezemolo, ex-Ferrari president, was inducted into the Automotive "Hall of Fame", he dedicated his award to the ailing Formula One driver and seven-time world champion Schumacher.

He said: "I don't know if I would have received this award without him.

"It is dedicated to him, because he is trying to win his toughest race."

Schumacher, 46, is currently recovering after suffering severe brain injuries following a ski accident in the French Alps.

The former Ferrari and Mercedes driver needed emergency surgery and was placed in an artificial coma after the accident in December 2013.

He spent several months fighting for his life following the crash but last June was transferred from a hospital in the French town of Grenoble to a Swiss hospital after regaining consciousness.

Speaking at the event in Detroit, United States, Mr Montezemolo also admitted Schumacher's plight was "very sad".

He added: "He was not only someone I worked with, but above all a friend with whom I shared so much. To know that he now lies in bed for such a long time is very sad."

After 23 years at the helm of Ferrari, Mr Montezemolo stepped down in September last year following an internal power struggle with current chairman Sergio Marchionne.

He is now non-executive chairman of Italy's national airline Alitalia.

Schumacher returned home to Gland on Lake Geneva in September 2014 for further rehabilitation.

His family have imposed a near-total news blackout on the care he is receiving at his Swiss mansion.

But speaking earlier this year the F1 legend's manager Sabine Kehm said he was "making progress".

The seven-time World Champion’s family is facing spiralling care costs with the current spending on his rehabilitation estimated at over £10million.

His family is said to be spending around £100,000-a-week looking after him.

It has been claimed that Schumacher has been left a mute with "limited awareness" of his environment and is also still unable to walk following the crash.

But those claims about his health are unconfirmed.

Express
26/07
3 Points
1

Sports German Grand Prix set for return after season-long exodus from F1 calendar

Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff believes the race, which had run consecutively since 1955 prior to this season, will definitely go ahead.

"We will be in Germany next year - the race is 100 per cent going to happen," he said.

"The budget is there, it is a fact. Bernie Ecclestone, Mercedes and the organisers in Hockenheim tried to help fund it [2015] but we couldn't come up with the budget.

"There is an impact on Mercedes from losing the German Grand Prix but, as much as it is a shame that we can't show and display our cars in front of our fans and Daimler colleagues, we will be there next year."

Wolff played down the fact that only 55 000 spectators came to the 2014 race -in contrast to the 140,000 who flocked to Silverstone this month.

"There is a little bit of a hangover in Germany about F1, sports in general and national heroes," he said.

"We had Michael Schumacher five times in a row, we had Sebastian Vettel four times in a row, the German football team winning the World Cup. I think they have had it all and where do you go from there?

"Maybe not going there for a year and coming back next year could be a good thing."

Express
17/07
3 Points
1

Sports 'It's torture' Jules Bianchi's father admits he's losing hope about son's recovery

Bianchi remains in a coma after suffering a diffuse axonal injury to the brain when his car left the Suzuka track and hit a recovery vehicle at the Japanese Grand Prix in October last year.His father Philippe said: “It’s unbearable, it is a daily torture.

Bianchi remains in a coma after suffering a diffuse axonal injury to the brain when his car left the Suzuka track and hit a recovery vehicle at the Japanese Grand Prix in October last year.

His father Philippe said: “It’s unbearable, it is a daily torture. It sometimes seems crazy because, for me, it is worse than if he had died. We don’t have the power to help him more.

“In general, progress must be made in the first six months and it has been nine months and Jules is still not awake and there is no significant progress.

“The passing time, it makes me less optimistic than I was two or three months after the accident.”

“If he has severe disabilities [if he does wake up], we are convinced that this is not at all what Jules wants.

“He told us that if he happened to be in an accident similar to that of Michael Schumacher, it would have been very difficult for him to live with it.”

Express
14/07
1 Points
1

Jules Bianchi showing 'no progress' nine months after Formula 1 horror crash

But for now, it remains unconscious, in a coma."However, today's comments suggest what limited progress there was has stalled.

Bianchi was put into an artificial coma after suffering head injuries during a high speed smash at a rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix last October.

He started showing early signs of recovery a month after the incident, when he was taken out of the coma and repatriated to his native France.

But Bianchi remains unconscious in a hospital in Nice and father Phillipe confirmed today in an interview with French radio that he was feeling increasingly "less optimistic" about his son's fate.

He said: "In general, progress needs to be made in the first six months. It has been nine months now and Jules has still not woken up and there is no significant progress.

"As time goes by, I am less optimistic than I might have been two or three months after the accident when we could have hoped for better progress.

"There comes a point when you have to just keep your feet on the ground and realise the gravity of the situation."

In comments that highlight the severity of the 25-year-old star racing driver's condition, Phillipe Bianchi hinted at the difficult decision the family may face.

Referring to fellow F1 champion Michael Schumacher, who is also recovering after a skiing accident left him with brain injuries, Phillipe Bianchi described the difficulty his son would likely endure, even if he were to regain consciousness.

"If he has to have very severe disabilities we are convinced that this is not at all what Jules wants. We talked about it," he said.

"He told us that if he happened one day an accident of the type of Michael Schumacher, it would have been if only the handicap of being able to drive, it would be very difficult to live it. Because it was his life."

Phillipe Bianchi also spoke movingly about how life "stopped" after the crash.

"It's hard to get up in the morning saying that you are not sure your son will live and that every day it's like that," he said.

"We had an extremely bright son, who lived his passion, traveling in all countries of the world, and overnight this son that you had every day on the phone ends up on a hospital bed between life and death."

Last year's crash happened when Bianchi's car hit a recovery vehicle that had been attending an earlier track-side incident.

The racing driver, who turns 26 on August 3, underwent surgery soon after and was then moved to intensive care.

Speaking in April, Bianchi's father sounded a more upbeat message.

"The only thing we can say is that he's fiercely fighting as he always did, before and after the accident," he said at the time.

"From a medical point of view, his condition is stable.

"All his organs are working without assistance. But for now, it remains unconscious, in a coma."

However, today's comments suggest what limited progress there was has stalled.

Express
14/07
2 Points
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