Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
Schumacher fighting for life after skiing fall
- Massa claims to be 'as fast' as Alonso
- Only normal car will prove 'legend' status for Vettel - Alonso (He already did)
- Prost admits new turbo era 'fascinates me'
- More on Schumacher
Schumacher fighting for life after skiing fall
(GMM) Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life in a hospital in France.
The seven time world champion, who retired from F1 for the second time last year, sustained a head injury while skiing off-piste at the Meribel ski resort on Sunday.
Early reports suggested the 44-year-old former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's injuries were not serious, despite him striking a rock with his helmeted head.
But the university hospital in Grenoble said in a statement: "He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention. He remains in a critical situation."
Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm confirmed the hospital's statement.
"His state of health has worsened and his condition is considered life-threatening, according to our information," the respected local newspaper Dauphine Libere reported.
The hospital has scheduled a press conference for Monday morning.
Citing hospital sources, French-language media claim Schumacher suffered a brain hemorrhage despite initially regaining consciousness after the fall.
"The fact that they undertook something almost immediately, that he was admitted to the surgical unit, suggests that something very serious has happened," Chris Chandler, a London neurosurgeon, is quoted by the Guardian.
Professor Gerard Saillant, a close friend of Schumacher's who treated his broken leg in 1999, rushed from Paris to assist with the treatment.
It is reported that Schumacher, who was skiing with his 14-year-old son Mick, is now surrounded by his family, while close friends Ross Brawn and Jean Todt are also at the hospital in Grenoble.
Former F1 driver Olivier Panis, a local, was reportedly turned away when he tried to visit Schumacher.
Tributes and well-wishes for Schumacher, a global sporting legend, have poured in, and his personal website has crashed under the demand for information.
"A security cordon has been placed around certain areas," a hospital spokesman was quoted by the Daily Mail. "Extra officers have been drafted in."
Massa claims to be 'as fast' as Alonso
(GMM) Felipe Massa insists he was "as fast, if not faster" than Fernando Alonso in qualifying trim this year.
Ultimately, the Brazilian scored less than half the points of his high-profile teammate, and finally lost his Ferrari race seat.
Massa will drive for Williams in 2014.
"I know they are going through a tough phase," he is quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper, "but I think that with the changes they're making, they can go back to what they were doing a few years ago.
"I want to be a part of that process (at Williams)," said the 32-year-old.
"The Mercedes engine should be very competitive, so I think we will have a good package at our disposal to fight for points on a regular basis and move steadily closer to the top."
But Ferrari justified Massa's exit on the basis that he was not able to support Alonso's quest for the world championship on a consistent enough basis.
Massa, however, thinks he stacked up well against the Spaniard in 2013.
"Of course, Fernando is a very strong racing driver," he admitted, "especially in the first few rounds of the championship.
"Qualifying has not been as important to the championship as it has been, but I was at least as fast, if not faster, than Alonso," Massa claimed.
"But with the other factors - the strategy, traffic, pitstops and all of those things - I really was not very lucky.
"And when Fernando is going for the championship, and I am not, then he had the advantage for strategy and it affects your ability to drive for the top positions," he added.
Interestingly, Massa named having to give up the win at Hockenheim in 2010 as the lowest point in his eight-year Ferrari tenure.
"I got a team order and had to obey it," he said. "It was very bad from both a professional and a personal point of view.
"Of course, my accident in Hungary in 2009 was a very negative event, because I could have died.
"But I don't remember when I hit the part from Rubens Barrichello's car. I know what happened and of course I remember taking a long time to recover, but I don't remember the accident.
"So, it doesn't hurt me as much as the memory of what happened in Hockenheim."
Only normal car will prove 'legend' status for Vettel - Alonso (He did already)
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel will only be an undisputed F1 "legend" if he wins at the wheel of a less competitive car.
That is the view of Fernando Alonso, who was Red Bull driver Vettel's championship runner-up in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
"I think when Vettel has a car like the rest in the field, if he wins, he will be greatly acknowledged and be one of the legends of formula one," Ferrari's Alonso is quoted as saying in Spanish-language media reports.
"But if someday he has a car like that of the other drivers and is fourth, fifth or seventh, then his four titles will be bad news for him because people will view these last four years in an even worse way," he added.
"I think there are some interesting years ahead for Sebastian," Alonso is quoted as saying. [Editor's Note: Alonso forgets what Vettel did in the rain at Monza in the back of the grid Toro Rosso - he demoralized the entire field. He is legend, but Alonso's ego can't accept it.]
Prost admits new turbo era 'fascinates me'
(GMM) Alain Prost has admitted he would like to still be a formula one driver, ahead of the switch to radical new engine rules for 2014.
The quadruple world champion, known during his career as 'the professor' due to his technical meticulousness, said the move to turbo V6 and 'greener' energy recovery systems, following years of frozen V8 rules, "fascinates me".
Frenchman Prost, now 58 and an ambassador for the world champion engine supplier Renault, won his last title in 1993, when Williams utterly dominated with its highly sophisticated 'active suspension' car.
"We're going back the essence of competition, which we had lost a little over the past years," he is quoted by France's autohebdo.fr.
"For the past few seasons, I have never said 'It would be nice to be driving now', but for 2014, I really would like to be," added Prost.
More on Schumacher
BBC Live Reporting:
More on some of the key people caring for Schumacher.
Professor Gerard Saillant is a close ally and friend of Schumacher and his former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt.
Saillant is an expert in brain and spine injury. He oversaw Schumacher's medical care when the German broke his leg in the 1999 British Grand Prix.
The news conference has now come to a close, with doctors saying they hope to be able to give a further update later today.
A consultant added: "He is under local anesthetic at the moment to reduce any stimulus. It was quite a big trauma to the head.
"What we observed initially was an impact to the right side of the head. He was agitated when he came in. He had some spontaneous movements and wasn't in a normal state when he came in."
Schumacher is under the care of Professor Gerard Saillant, a brain and spinal injury expert who is also president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Institute.
At the news conference Professor Stéphane Chabarde said: "I came here not in terms of a doctor but as a friend. I'd like to thank everyone for the support and the excellent medical team who treated him so well.
"I am very worried just like his family, we are very worried about his condition. the doctors won't tell you more because they can't tell you more, they are working hour by hour.
"This kind of accident, luckily he's 45 which is better than if you were older."
Bild reporters said Ross Brawn, the Briton who worked with Schumacher at Ferrari and Mercedes as technical director and team principal respectively, had arrived in Grenoble.
Professor Stephane Chabarde said: "The helmet wasn't enough to protect him completely but it really did help. We see a lot of head injuries like this."
Professor Payen: "We have very good medical procedures and we did actually treat him very quickly and give him what he needed very quickly."
Professor Payen added: "We are in constant contact with his family that are by his bedside. At this moment we don't see he is going to need a second operation."
Professor Payen continued: "We can say he is fighting for his life. We judge him to be in a very serious situation. We cannot tell what the outcome will be yet. We are working hour-by-hour but it's too early to say what is going to happen and to have a prognosis.
"We think his helmet did help, without a helmet he wouldn't be here now."
Chief anesthesiologist professor Jean-Francois Payen added: "I'd say this accident happened in the right place because he was taken into hospital immediately and operated on as soon as he arrived, this meant his state is critical and he is still in a coma and he will be kept in a coma.
"Everything that needed to be done has been done at the moment we can't really say when he will recover, we cannot answer this yet."
A spokesman for the hospital said: "Michael Schumacher was the victim of very serious trauma. He was very agitated when he arrived and we decided he was in a critical situation and he quickly went into a coma.
"The neurosurgical treatment he received brought us quite a lot of information. We had to operate urgently to release some pressure in his head. Unfortunately, he has some lesions within his brain."
Schumacher's former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who himself recovered from life-threatening head injuries sustained at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, writes on Instagram: "I am praying for you my brother! I hope you have a quick recovery! God bless you Michael."
There have been plenty of messages of support for Schumacher.
Martin Brundle, who was Schumacher's team-mate at Benetton in 1992 and 1993, earlier said: "Let's hope Michael Schumacher's ski shunt is not too bad and that he's totally fixable. He's a crazy brave skydiving/bike racing daredevil."
Hours later, when the full extent of Schumacher's injuries had become clear, he urged: "Come on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it."
Schumacher had the accident at the French ski resort of Meribel.
The seven-time Formula 1 champion was quickly seen by two ski patrollers who requested helicopter evacuation to the nearby valley town of Moutiers.
From there he was moved to the bigger facility at Grenoble, in south-east France. His wife Corinna and two children are with him.
There have been in French and German media saying that the F1 legend underwent a second operation during the night.
Germany's Bild tabloid reported that his condition had worsened and surgeons had drilled holes in his skull to reduce the pressure on his brain.
Schumacher suffered serious brain trauma after an accident when skiing off-piste with his son in the French Alps on Sunday morning.
The 44-year-old German was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head against a rock. He was rushed to hospital but was in a coma on arrival and underwent immediate surgery.
Good morning. We are going to be heading to Grenoble soon to get an update on the condition of Michael Schumacher, who is in a critical condition after a skiing accident.