Authorities say it’s too early to determine speed in Schumacher accident

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French investigators and authorities provided an update on the progress into determining the cause of Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident.

At the moment, they are unable to determine the speed, said it was too early to say who or what was responsible, but also said that as an experienced skier Schumacher performed “completely normal behavior by a good skier on this terrain.”

The 2-minute video clip authorities reviewed came via the GoPro camera affixed to Schumacher’s helmet. Prosecutor Patrick Quincy determined the rock Schumacher hit was 8 meters off piste, and that the film review confirms all the information they already had.

“This film is perfectly clear and gives us a lot of information, and confirms all the information we already had,” Quincy said.

Added Quincy on exactly what happened, “(Schumacher) reached an intersection between a red and blue one. He went down the red piste and went off piste. He’s evidently a very good skier. But one of his skis hit a rock that was sticking out and it caused him to fall and hit his head on the rock.”

They are using the film to complete a reconstruction of the accident. As this is still early in the process, neither Quincy nor French police were able to make any specific determinations on responsibility. They have been consulting with Schumacher’s family as they are going through this investigation.

With the speed undetermined, the authorities will speak to experts and be able to reveal that later on. Because he was off piste, it was difficult to slow down, they said.

The state of the snow itself “wasn’t great,” according to Quincy, but he also said he wasn’t really analyzing that at the moment. They did rule out the skis themselves as the cause, and noted the scratch underneath the skis that confirmed hitting the rock.

As others have this week, the authorities continued to ask the media to respect the family’s privacy.

Schumacher remains in critical condition and in a medically induced coma at University Center Hospital in Grenoble, France.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.