Sabine Kehm, the press officer for Michael Schumacher, has confirmed that doctors are now slowly bringing the seven-time Formula One World Champion out of his medically induced coma.
Schumacher has been in a Grenoble, France hospital since sustaining a major head injury in a skiing accident on Dec. 29 in the French ski resort of Meribel. He has had two operations, the most recent involving the removal of a prominent hematoma.
Today’s statement reads:
“The family of Michael Schumacher is again requesting to respect its privacy and the medical secret, and to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work. At the same time, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the world-wide sympathy.
“Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking-up process, which may take a long time. For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated. Please note that no further updates will be given.”
It marks the first official medical update on Schumacher since he was confirmed to be in a “stable” condition earlier this month.
Schumacher remains in the thoughts of Formula One fans around the world, and the teams currently testing in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain have also shown their support for the stricken champion – including the teams he drove for, Ferrari and Mercedes.
Shortly after today’s confirmation from Kehm, Mercedes tweeted: “We are all closely following the latest news from Grenoble. Our thoughts are with the Schumacher family. #KeepFightingMichael.”
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.