It appears the investigation into Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident is drawing to a close.
And when the file is officially closed, the incident will apparently be ruled just that, an accident.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mirror, Germany’s Bild newspaper is reporting that French investigators have wrapped up their four-week probe and forwarded their findings to investigating prosecutor Patrick Quincy.
One of the key determinations in the investigation, according to sources cited by Bild, is that manufacturers of the equipment Schumacher was using at the time of the accident, as well as officials of the resort near Merabel in the French Alps where the incident occurred, will not be found liable for any circumstances related to the accident.
Schumacher was critically injured and suffered extensive injuries, particularly to his head, when he crashed into a pile of rocks on Dec. 29. He has remained in the intensive care unit now for seven weeks.
The seven-time Formula One champion has also been in an induced coma since then, although doctors at Grenoble University Hospital began slowly attempting to bring him out of the coma nearly two weeks ago.
According to reports, Schumacher has shown some reflex spasms but has not responded to stimulus tests.
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.