Schumacher “still in the wake up phase”

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Michael Schumacher’s condition has not changed as the seven-time Formula 1 world champion is still being awoken from his coma, according to manager Sabine Kehm.

Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident at the end of December, and has been in a medically-induced coma ever since. It was revealed last month that efforts were being made to awaken the 45-year-old by gradually reducing his sedation, but a lack of updates had prompted many to fear the worst.

However, Kehm made clear that the wake-up process is a lengthy one, and that only information coming directly from those monitoring his condition should be considered valid.

“Michael is still in the wake up phase,” a statement from Kehm read. “The situation has not changed.

“Any medical information published which is not confirmed by the team of doctors treating Michael or has management has to be considered as not valid.”

Kehm’s comments follow a number of reports and quotes from neurologists that, despite having expertise in the field, are not directly caring for Schumacher. With head injuries being incredibly difficult to fully analyse and understand, any information or diagnosis given by those that are not associated with his care must be treated as pure speculation.

It was confirmed last month that the investigation into Schumacher’s accident had been closed, concluding that there was no criminal wrongdoing on the part of the ski resort or designers of his equipment.

Hartley says debut F1 point would be ‘a dream’ from last on grid

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Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.

Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.

“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.

“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”

The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.

“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.

“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.