JANUARY 2, 2014
Schumacher updates to come less regularly
Press conferences about Michael Schumacher's health will no longer occur, unless there is something "significant" to report.
That is the news of the injured seven time world champion's manager Sabine Kehm, after reporting from the hospital in Grenoble that the great German is now "stable" but still "critical" in a coma after his skiing crash.
"I think the doctors have explained very well what is the plan," she told German television. "So we will only hold press conferences when we have significant news from the doctors to report.
"To have to report to the press every morning would hinder the doctors, and we are all very keen for them to be able to work in peace," added Kehm.
"I will not give status reports every day, at least while the situation remains stable and there is no change, either positively or negatively."
While the news about Schumacher's condition is scarce, the international media interest in the fate of F1's most successful driver remains unparalleled.
Some commentators have said the skiing fall, barely a year after he retired from F1 for the second and final time, demonstrates that 'adrenaline junkie' Schumacher was unable to ease off the throttle.
Germany's Bild newspaper quoted an eyewitness as saying Schumacher's helmet was "cleaved in two" by the obviously high-speed impact.
"All your F1 career you are at the limit," Mika Salo, who subbed for an injured Schumacher at Ferrari in 1999, told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.
"When you are used to living like that, then even in your hobbies you can hurt yourself, especially when you do them at an extreme level like Michael."
Alain Prost added: "Every day after F1, you try to fill the void but nothing gives you as much adrenaline," the quadruple world champion told Itele.
But others have defended the almost 45-year-old.
"He (Schumacher) explained to me that often it looked to outsiders that he is addicted to risk and speed," said RTL presenter Kai Ebel, perhaps the last to interview Schumacher at length earlier this month.
"But he knew very well his ability and told me with a very great emphasis that he is never out of control with the speed," he told Bild newspaper.
Flavio Briatore, one of Schumacher's first bosses in F1, agrees.
"I was with him in a car - from the hotel or airport, or to the circuit - hundreds of times," the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport, "and - believe me - I never saw him 'do a Schumacher'.
"In traffic, Michael was very cautious, tolerant of those in his way. Now, he was skiing with his son and I cannot imagine he was going at breakneck speed.
"It was the saddest New Year's of my life," Briatore, holidaying at his resort in Kenya, admitted.
Former F1 driver Jarno Trulli also insisted Schumacher is not "reckless".
"He had just gone skiing with his child, as many fathers do," he told Il Giornale. "Throughout his career, he was always very safety-conscious.
"Actually, it is thanks to Michael that during his years of activity in formula one, many improvements were made in the field of safety," added Trulli.
"It's true that a driver is used to living with risk, but it's a calculated risk and certainly less dangerous than many kids out drinking on a Saturday night.
"We do our work and at Christmas we go on vacation," said Trulli. "Just like Michael, I too am now going to the mountains to ski."
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