Sunday 18 February 2018

Michael Schumacher 'giving reactions with his mouth'

German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher posing with his wife Corinna, in the winter resort of Madonna di Campiglio
German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher posing with his wife Corinna, in the winter resort of Madonna di Campiglio

Jack De Menezes

Williams Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has revealed that he has been to see his former Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher and remains “very positive” about his condition as he continues to battle life-threatening injuries suffered in a skiing accident in December, having seen him make small responses with his mouth during the visit.

Schumacher hit his head on a rock in a fall when he was skiing off-piste in the exclusive French resort of Meribel on December 29, and was placed in a medically induced coma upon his arrival at the Grenoble University Hospital. Having undergone two operations to relieve pressure on his brain and to remove haematomas, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm confirmed that the seven-time world champion had begun the “waking-up process”, although refused to give a timescale on what can be an extremely long process.

Massa is currently testing his new Williams at the pre-season test meeting in Bahrain, and he has revealed that he went to visit his close friend in-between the meeting at the Sakhir circuit and the previous test in Jerez at the end of January.

“I always try to be optimistic,” Massa, who left Ferrari at the end of last season after spending eight years with the famous Italian manufacturer, told reporters in Bahrain.

“He was sleeping, and I was very positive because he was normal.

“He looks normal, and he also gave some reactions with the mouth and everything. So it's positive to look at him.

“I have no experience to say anything. I'm not a doctor. But when I saw him, for me, it looked very positive.”

The 45-year-old’s wife Corinna has remained by his bedside throughout his recovery, maintaining audio contact with him in an attempt to bring him out of his unconsciousness. It is something that Massa also did during his time beside the former Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes driver, who stressed that everyone must maintain the believe that he can and will make a recovery.

“I saw him, I talked to him, I told him everything I did in Jerez about my car, the new team (Williams), everything. I told him to wake up many times... I'm positive. We need to believe.

“It's always very difficult to say because I have zero experience about what the doctors say. But I saw him and was very happy to be together with him for a very long time, talking to him, trying to give the best energy and just help him.

“He's a very strong man, a very great man and I really hope he can wake up, and I really hope he can enjoy his life again.”

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