Schumacher’s manager: ‘Small signs of progress’ made by F1 legend


After confirming earlier this month that seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher was showing “moments of consciousness and awakening,” his manager has further discussed the matter with a German broadcasting network.

According to the UK’s Independent newspaper, Sabine Kehm said that the F1 legend – who’s being brought out of a medically-induced coma that he’s been in since late December – is “showing small signs of progress.”

“There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious,” Kehm told network ARD. “Of course, I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious – the latter meaning, there is an ability to interact with his surroundings.

“I don’t want to disclose details out of respect for the family, but we have no doubt at all in the abilities of the doctors treating Michael. They are experts in their field.”

However, she also added that due to the severity of Schumacher’s injury, a medical prognosis was still “not possible” at this time and that any sort of interaction with him is on “a very limited basis.”

Kehm also touched on his family’s frustration over media reports that quote doctors who aren’t working directly on the attempt to bring Schumacher out of his coma at University Hospital in Grenoble, France.

“It has been a problem when outsiders comment and it means we have to set the record straight, even when we don’t want to,” said Kehm about what she and the family see as the “untruths” in these particular reports.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force qualifies 15th with no motor explosion, says ‘I need to race smart’ Sunday

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There’s good news and bad news for John Force fans.

The good news is the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ did not suffer yet another motor explosion after enduring his third in three races during Friday’s qualifying session at Gainesville (Florida) Raceway.

In fact, Force intentionally feathered the gas pedal on his Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car to make sure it wasn’t again overtaxed, qualifying 15th with a run of 4.281 seconds at 222.88 mph.

Now for the bad news.

When Sunday’s final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. ET, Force will be matched against daughter and No. 2 qualifier, Courtney Force (3.914 seconds at 332.18 mph).

“It is a little bit of a bummer that I have to race him in the first round,” Courtney Force said of her father. “Tomorrow is a new day and we will have all our stuff ready and we will put on our game faces to go for that win.”

Courtney Force is seeking her second consecutive win, having also won two weeks ago at the second national event of the season in suburban Phoenix.

“I want to have a good side-by-side safe race tomorrow in round one,” Force said. “Our goal is to take my dad down and have a long day at the track winning rounds.

“We want to move the momentum over from Phoenix. I feel like my guys have a good handle on this Advance Auto Parts Camaro.”

But don’t count out dear old dad, an eight-time Funny Car winner at Gainesville.

“I am the kind of guy that, when it is qualifying day, I run it to the edge.,” John Force said. “I run it even if I know it will hurt itself.

“(With his three motor explosions this season) I am rethinking all that. What I am looking is the long haul. To go out here and say I have to win this race or I have to qualify low after as much stuff as we have put on the ground in Pomona and Phoenix and then to come here and do it again is bad. … We want to fix this problem and move on.

“Tomorrow I am going to have to play the odds game. I am going to run it to 700 or 800 feet and hope (Courtney) gets in trouble. I need to race smart.”

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