Michael Schumacher turns 45 in coma

Jan 03 2014, 16:11 IST
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Michael Schumacher's wife, Corinna, leaves the Grenoble hospital in French Alps, where former seven-time Formula One champion is being treated. (AP) Michael Schumacher's wife, Corinna, leaves the Grenoble hospital in French Alps, where former seven-time Formula One champion is being treated. (AP)
SummaryMichael Schumacher spent 45th birthday lying in a coma in a French hospital following a skiing accident.

television satellite vans.

Kehm earlier in the week said some people had tried to sneak into Michael Schumacher's room, one dressed as a priest.

The three medical professors treating him – two neurosurgeons and the head of the anaesthetic and intensive care department – have also been thrown into the spotlight. They have appeared at press conferences to explain the latest developments. While they have refused to speculate on how Michael Schumacher's condition may evolve, they say his age and fitness could help with recovery.

Yet questions have emerged over exactly how the accident happened on a small, seemingly innocuous off-piste section of Meribel located between two ski slopes – one classed as easy and the other as intermediate.

The prosecutors are looking at whether the limits of the pistes next to the area where accident happened were correctly marked, and whether the safety releases on Michael Schumacher's skis operated properly.

German newspaper Bild reported the skis were rented and one of their safety releases did not open at the moment of the accident.

Prosecutors were not expected to make any statement on the investigation until early next week.

Kehm said this week that the former racer was not skiing fast when he fell.

"He seems to have hit a rock as he took a turn. It was a chain of unfortunate circumstances," she said.

She added that Michael Schumacher was with his 14-year-old son Mick at the time of the accident, as well as a small group of friends.

"He was not going quickly, because it seems he helped a friend who had fallen down," she said.

Michael Schumacher, who made his debut in 1991, dominated Formula One, winning more world titles and races than any other driver.

He first retired aged 37 but was unable to resist the lure of the track. In 2010, he came out of retirement but was unable to recover his previous performance and quit for good in 2012.

As an F1 racer, Michael Schumacher was known for his daring overtaking manoeuvres, his at-times almost reckless abandon in the pursuit of victory and his mastery of tricky conditions presented by rain.

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