INVESTIGATORS examined a camera that was attached to Michael Schumacher’s ski helmet and are questioning his son yesterday as fans held a hospital vigil for his 45th birthday yesterday.
His family handed the “Go-Pro” camera to police, who questioned his son, Mick, 14, and a friend of the teenager. Both boys were with Schumacher when he fell on Sunday, sustaining severe head injuries, a source close to the investigation into his accident said.
Schumacher’s family posted a statement on their website thanking fans for gathering outside the French hospital where he lay in a coma, saying the show of support had moved them to tears.
Busloads of supporters came from Italy and France, some holding Ferrari flags, others bearing gifts and cards which they handed to his manager. One group sang Happy Birthday while a woman cried and another group quietly unfurled a Ferrari banner.
“Schumi gave us so much,” said Stefano Pini, 47, an Italian accountant who got up at three in the morning to catch a bus from Milan. “The least we could do is to come here and support him and his family,” said Mr Pini, who like many in the crowd wore a red Ferrari cap.
Investigators are hoping that the camera will provide details about the exact circumstances of the accident that has left the racing legend in a medically induced coma after suffering severe head injuries. Two operations on his brain have reduced swelling and stabilised his condition but he is not out of danger.
His wife, Corinna, has been at his bedside for much of the past few days and nights, along with his son, his daughter Gina-Maria, brother Ralf and father Rold.
Sabine Kehm, his manager, has denied reports that he was skiing at high speed.
Ms Kehm said he had only ventured into an unmarked area between two pistes after stopping to help a friend’s daughter who had fallen. He was catapulted into the air when he hit a rock concealed by recently fallen snow and was catapulted into the air. His head struck another rock and his helmet broke in two, she said.
The accident happened only about 300 yards from the chalet Schumacher owns at the Meribel resort in the French Alps.