Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is ‘conscious’ after being admitted to hospital for stem cell treatment, a nurse has revealed.
French newspaper Le Parisien claimed on Monday that Schumacher, who has not been seen in public for almost six years following his skiing accident, had been taken to a Paris hospital for ‘secret treatment’.
And now, the paper has quoted an unnamed nurse in cardiology saying: “Yes he is in my service.
“And I can assure you that he is conscious.”
Schumacher’s management have declined to comment on the latest report.
Schumacher has been recovering at his family home in Lausanne, Switzerland since sustaining serious head injuries in December 2013. There have been few updates about his well-being in the six years since.
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To coincide with his 50th birthday last January, the family issued a rare statement, saying they ‘are doing everything humanely possible’ to help the seven-time world champion, and ‘that he is in the very best of hands’.
The wall of secrecy, enforced at the request of Schumacher’s wife Corinna, was established to protect one of the biggest names in modern sporting times.
But writing in his forthcoming book, Nick Fry, who worked alongside Schumacher for three years at Mercedes, believes the sporadic offerings about a driver who won a record seven world championships, 91 grands prix, and commanded a following of millions around the world, are not enough.
“Corinna and the family have kept a very tight control on information about his treatment which, I think, is a pity,” Fry writes in his book, Survive. Drive. Win.
“There are millions of people out there who have a genuine affection for Michael, and that’s not just his fans in Germany or fans of Mercedes Benz.
“Because of what he achieved, people would like to know about his condition; they are inquisitive and they genuinely feel for him.
“I do think that reporting on how he is, regardless of whether it is good or bad news – and possibly it is bad news – is important because people can empathise with him.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won a thrilling Italian Grand Prix where he held off the challenges from Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton hustled Leclerc during a remarkable spell of wheel-to-wheel action at Monza – but the world champion was kept at bay.
The 21-year-old registered his second win in as many weeks and Ferrari’s first on home soil in nine years.
With 11 laps remaining, Hamilton then made a mistake at the first corner in his pursuit of Leclerc, falling off the road and allowing Bottas to take second.
On fresher tyres, Bottas took over from Hamilton in his pursuit of Leclerc but crossed the line just eight-tenths shy of the Ferrari star.
In contrast to Leclerc’s heroics at the Cathedral of Speed, Sebastian Vettel endured yet another torrid afternoon in the sister Ferrari.
The four-time world champion took the chequered flag a dismal 13th and one lap down after a spin at the Ascari chicane on lap six.
Vettel had to stop for a new front wing after he clumsily collided with Lance Stroll in his attempt to rejoin the track following his mistake. He was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for his part in the incident.
Hamilton’s late error allowed Bottas to reduce the championship deficit to 63 points with seven rounds left.
“What a race,” said Leclerc. “I have never been so tired. I made a few mistakes, but in the end I finished first so I am very happy.”
“Charles did a great job,” said Hamilton. “He came under a lot of pressure from Valtteri and I.
“I did the best I could, but following so closely for so many laps, the tyres just went off the cliff. It was not our day.”
Leclerc’s credentials were tested to the absolute limit as Hamilton hunted the 21-year-old around the high-speed Monza track.
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Leclerc was shown a black-and-white flag, Formula One’s version of a yellow card, after Hamilton claimed he was pushed off the road by the Ferrari driver.
On lap 23, Hamilton launched an attack on Leclerc at the second chicane, but was forced to take to the run-off area.
“He didn’t leave me a car’s width,” said Hamilton on the radio. “He pushed me off.”
Thirteen laps later, Leclerc then ran over the kerbs at the first chicane but rejoined in front of Hamilton.
“There is some dangerous driving going on,” said Hamilton. The stewards noted the incident but took no further action.
The partisan Ferrari fans stood on their feet to applaud Leclerc as he whistled past on the main straight, and they burst into unanimous cheers when Hamilton was forced to take to the escape road after going too hot on his brakes at the first corner.
Bottas took over second position as Hamilton stopped for a set of fresh tyres, claiming a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages.
Bottas lined up a move on Leclerc for the win with just two laps to run, but the Finn locked up, affording Leclerc much-needed breathing space.
The Renault duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth and fifth ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon.
Charles Leclerc registered the maiden win of his Formula One career after romping to victory at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Less than 24 hours after Leclerc’s French motor racing contemporary, Anthoine Hubert, was killed at the Spa-Francorchamps venue, the young Monegasque driver delivered a dominant display to take the chequered flag in his friend’s honour.
Lewis Hamilton finished second after fighting his way past Sebastian Vettel with 12 laps remaining. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas also managed to see off Vettel after the Ferrari driver was forced to make an additional stop for tyres.
Hamilton extended his lead over Bottas in the championship to 65 points.
“This one is for Anthoine,” said an emotional Leclerc on the radio.
“It feels good but it is difficult to enjoy a weekend like this.”
He added: “On one hand I have realised a dream, but on the other hand it has been a difficult weekend.
“I have lost a friend, so I would like to dedicate my win to him.
“We have grown up together. It is a shame what happened yesterday, so I cannot enjoy my first victory.”
Leclerc posted a childhood picture with his arm around Hubert upon news of his death following a horrifying 160mph crash in Saturday’s Formula Two race. He accompanied the picture with the words: “I can’t believe it.”
Leclerc, who is 22 next month, the same age as Hubert, was visibly moved by the tragedy. Prior to the race, he hugged Hubert’s mother, Nathalie.
A moment of silence was observed before the race in the French driver’s memory. Nathalie held her son’s pink and white crash helmet. Hubert’s brother, Victhor, stood alongside her as the Formula One and grieving Formula Two drivers formed an arc, bowing their heads in honour of their fallen colleague.
Daniel Ricciardo, the usually jovial Australian, kept his eyes closed throughout the silence and ensuing national anthem.
He then appeared to wipe away tears, summing up the sombre mood before the start of Sunday’s race. All 20 of the drivers’ cars were adorned with “Racing for Anthoine” stickers.
Leclerc made the perfect start, racing away to the slow, right-handed La Source turn, to retain the lead. Hamilton, starting from third, got the jump on Vettel before Max Verstappen bumped wheels with Kimi Raikkonen.
The force of the impact sent Raikkonen temporarily on to two wheels. Verstappen sustained damage to his car and slammed into the barriers at the top of Eau Rouge, the corner which claimed Hubert’s life.
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Verstappen walked away unscathed from the high-speed shunt, but the safety car was quickly deployed. Vettel had managed to re-pass Hamilton for second on the Kemmel Straight, while British teenager Lando Norris took advantage of the chaotic opening exchanges to move up six spots to fifth.
Following the safety car period, Leclerc retained his lead, with Hamilton hot on Vettel’s heels. The German stopped on lap 16, but it was not until lap 21 that Leclerc dived in for a change of rubber. Hamilton pitted on the next lap.
The early stop had helped Vettel take the lead, but his tyres would not last the course. On lap 27, he was told by Ferrari to move out of Leclerc’s way, which he duly did. Then, on lap 32, Hamilton fought his way past with Vettel struggling on ageing rubber.
Leclerc was six seconds up the road on Hamilton, and the world champion kept Leclerc honest to the flag, crossing the line just one second behind the Ferrari driver.
But Leclerc would hold on to take an emotional victory ahead of Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel.
Norris looked set to claim a career-best fifth in his McLaren, but stopped with an apparent mechanical failure as he began his final lap.
The London-born Alex Albon took the flag in fifth after starting 18th in an impressive start to his Red Bull career.
French driver Anthoine Hubert has been killed in a Formula Two accident at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old died following a 160mph collision at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps track.
Hubert raced for the British-owned Arden team, founded and run by Garry Horner, the father of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
He lost control of his car on the exit of the notorious uphill Eau Rouge corner before slamming into the far-side barrier. The Frenchman flew off the tyre wall and slid across the circuit before he was hit head on by the unsuspecting American Juan-Manuel Correa.
The severity of the incident was instantly obvious. Debris littered the tarmac and the official TV feed cut away from the scene, while there were no replays of the accident.
Emergency crews rushed to one of motorsport’s most recognisable corners, but one hour and 28 minutes after the second-lap accident Hubert was pronounced dead at the on-track medical centre.
The entire Mercedes family sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anthoine Hubert, and his Arden and Renault teams on this tragic day.
Correa was airlifted to Liege Hospital, 40 miles to the north west of the circuit in the Ardennes. It is understood that the American, 20, has broken his legs and was sedated at the scene. Giuliano Alesi, the son of former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi, was also involved but escaped without injury.
The Formula Two race, which acts as the feeder championship to Formula One, followed the conclusion of qualifying for the F1 grand prix which saw Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc secure pole position ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
A statement released by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, read: “The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) regrets to advise that a serious incident involving cars #12, #19 and #20 occurred at 17:07 on 31/08/19 as a part of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race at Spa-Francorchamps, round 17 of the season.
“The scene was immediately attended by emergency and medical crews, and all drivers were taken to the medical centre.
“As a result of the incident, the FIA regrets to inform that the driver of car #19, Antoine Hubert (FRA), succumbed to his injuries, and passed away at 18:35.”
The fatal crash occurred less than an hour after Lewis Hamilton had qualified for Sunday’s race. Hamilton, who crashed out of final practice at 140mph at the Fagnes chicane on Saturday morning, is due to line up from third on the grid.
In an emotional post to social media, the five-time world champion highlighted the dangers of the sport.
“This is devastating,” the 34-year-old wrote. “God rest your soul, Anthoine. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.
“If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe you are hugely mistaken.
“All these drivers put their lives on the line when they hit the track and people need to appreciate that in a serious way because it is not appreciated enough.
“Not from the fans, nor some of the people actually working in the sport. Anthoine is a hero as far as I’m concerned for taking the risk he did to chase his dreams. I’m so sad that this has happened. Let’s lift him up and remember him. Rest in peace, brother.”
A moment’s silence is set to take place ahead of Sunday’s race to honour a driver highly regarded in the motor racing world.
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Hubert was the reigning GP3 champion and had already won twice in F2 this season. He was a member of the Renault driver academy.
Renault’s F1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul said: “Anthoine was a bright young man. His performance and conduct on and off track was that of a true gentleman and it was a pleasure and honour to have had him within our academy.
“He will be sorely missed. His spirit will remain with the team and we will race in his memory.”
Lewis Hamilton suffered a heavy crash in final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.
The defending Formula 1 world champion and current championship leader lost control of his Mercedes at high speed before slamming head-on into the barriers.
“I am in the wall, guys,” said Hamilton over the team radio. “Sorry.”
The British star emerged from unscathed, but suffered extensive damage to the front of his battered car.
Mercedes mechanics will now face a race against time to get his car ready for qualifying, which begins at 2pm on Saturday, but the German team said they are hopeful everything will be fixed in time for Hamilton to compete.
A Mercedes spokesman said: “We will be replacing both front corners [suspension and wheel assemblies], nose, barge boards and floor.
“Barring nasty surprises, we can complete all of the work in time.”
The main fear for Mercedes is possible damage to the gear box, as replacing it before the race would incur a five-place gird penalty.
Reacting to Hamilton’s crash, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff added: “Hopefully it’s not the engine or the gear box, and it doesn’t look too bad at the moment.
“I think if I would run around and panic like a headless chicken it wouldn’t be good for the guys fixing the car so we need to be calm.”
In Hamilton’s absence, Ferrari continued their domination of the weekend in Spa-Francorchamps, with Charles Leclerc fastest.
The impressive 23-year-old man from Monaco finished nearly half-a-second clear of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, while Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, 0.497 seconds off the pace.
Ferrari have a golden opportunity for claim their first race win this year, with their one-two finish to practise making them favourites for pole position.
Formula 1 have released a record breaking 22-race schedule for the 2020 season where Vietnam and the Netherlands will make their debut.
The schedule will be submitted for approval at the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Motor Sport Council meeting on October 4.
The F1’s 70th anniversary season starts in Melbourne, Australia on March 15 and ends in Abu Dhabi on November 29, with
Vietnam will become the 34th country to host a Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton and co. race in Hanoi on April 5.
The Zandvoort circuit in has also been added to the schedule, which will see 21-year-old Max Verstappen race in his homeland.
However, Germany has been left off the calendar for failing to come to a financial agreement with F1 owners Liberty Media, which means Sebastian Vettel will be without a home race.
Meanwhile, the Italy Grand Prix is subject to a contract signature.
The annual British Grand Prix will take place at Silverstone on July 19 after its contract was extended and also means there will be no clash with the Wimbledon men’s final or the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Hamilton is the bookmakers’ favourite to retain his F1 crown, while Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel follow closely behind.
A full list of the provincial 2020 F1 calendar is below…
Jamie Chadwick has already written herself into the history books twice at the tender age of 21.
Aged 15, the Bath-born racing driver was the first woman, as well as the youngest person ever, to win the British GT Championship.
She reinforced her status as one of motorsport’s rising stars and also made history for a second time in her fledgling career earlier this month when she became the first ever person to win the inaugural W Series – the first all-female single seater series – at Brands Hatch.
But for Chadwick, there’s a quiet determination to go one step further, which, in the process, would not just make her a history-maker for a third time should she pull it off, but a role model for women across the world.
Her target now is to become the first female to compete in Formula One in over 40 years and you sense it may just be a matter of time before that happens, given her recent W Series glory as well as her relationship with Williams, for whom she is a development driver.
However, Chadwick doesn’t want to make it on to the F1 grid to be purely a gimmick. Instead, all she wants is equality and to be handed a drive in motorsport’s most renowned series because of her talent.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, she said: “It [making it to F1] would be unbelievable. It’s the ultimate goal. It’s every young driver’s dream.
“That dream becomes a little bit more of a closer reality with the relationship I have with Williams. I really want to achieve it for myself. I really want to be there on merit and because I deserve to be and fingers crossed that happens soon.
“[Working with Williams] has been unbelievable for me. Getting that kind of experience with an F1 team has been awesome. For it to be Williams, a British team who have so much history, has been extra special and I’ve learnt a lot from them so far.
“Now I’ve done the job that I needed to this year by securing the W Series Championship, I’m hoping that I can go to them with a bit more of an argument to do some more stuff for them next year.”
F1 has a reputation for being a male dominated sport and you have to look back to Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976 to find the last women to compete in the worldwide series.
The sport’s former chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone, was widely criticised back in 2016 when he claimed women were physically unable to drive an F1 car and that a female driver ‘would not be taken seriously’ should they be handed a drive.
However, the Championship is very much in a new era under the ownership of Liberty Media and Chadwick believes there’s a real desire from within for that 43-year wait to come to an end.
“The sport’s obviously heavily male dominated but in my view, I don’t think there’s a reason for that,” she explained.
“I think the sport is desperate to see a female succeed. The sport does want a female racing driver but they’ve got to be there on merit.
“Some of the most influential people in motorsport are women. For example, my team boss at Williams is Claire Williams.
“We’re starting to see more and more. It’s a numbers game and we just need more women to rise to the top in all degrees of the sport and hopefully, that will end this male dominance that we’ve got.”
Despite her achievements, a career in motorsport never really crossed the 21-year-old’s mind until she was a teenager, though.
A talented skier and hockey player growing up, Chadwick admits she fell into racing by ‘accident.’
Her family didn’t have any background in the industry and it was only when her brother took up Go-Karting that she decided to put on a crash helmet for the first time.
“I had my first go and fell in love with it quite quickly,” she says. “One thing led to another and I progressed into car racing at 14. It’s been a whirlwind ever since. As soon as I took my hand in motorsport, I realised that was the one I wanted to pursue more than other sports.”
Not only has it been a whirlwind few years for Chadwick, but it’s been a crazy few days for the 21-year-old as well.
Her feet have barely touched the ground since she sealed the W Series title last week, bagging £400,000 in prize money in the process.
The Bath racer had been on the podium in each of the previous five rounds, winning twice in Germany and Italy respectively, meaning she took a 13-point lead into the final race at Brands Hatch.
However, the finale didn’t quite go to plan for the Brit, as despite qualifying on pole, she ended up crossing the chequered flag in fourth at her home race.
A third-place finish for her nearest rival Beitkse Visser wasn’t enough to close the gap though, meaning Chadwick became the first ever W Series champion since its inception.
An ever perfectionist, Chadwick admitted she would have liked to have secured the Championship in better circumstances, but the 21-year-old was quick to say that she’ll remember the celebrations for the rest of her life.
“I’ve got a whirlwind of emotions and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” she explained.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be happier and it’s what we’ve worked so hard for all year. To finally have that title and accolade official is a dream come true.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the goal to go out from the off to win the title. I didn’t realise how tough it was going to be. All year, it might have looked like we had control over it at times, but behind the scenes it wasn’t that easy.”
On whether she could enjoy any of the race, she added: “I think the way I described it after the race was the worst 30 minutes of my life followed by the best 30 minutes of my life.
“I did enjoy bits of the race. I mean it wasn’t the race I wanted and it was stressful and tricky.
“Ultimately, when that chequered flag fell, there was a little bit of mixed emotions as the race wasn’t great, but the feeling of just winning the Championship was unbelievable. To celebrate with my family, my friends and the home crowd was unbelievable.”
A well-deserved break is now on the cards as she tries to come to terms with her achievements this season.
While competing in F1 is the ultimate ambition, Chadwick hasn’t ruled out a second campaign in the W Series, although she is also open to the idea of branching out into other competitions as well, much like her idol Fernando Alonso.
“I’m open to a lot of things at the moment,” she explained.
“Motorsport is a fantastic place for a young driver to be at the moment. I’m really lucky that I’ve also got a relationship with Aston Martin and they’ve got a really cool hyper car project coming to Le Mans next year. That’s something I’d really love to get involved with.
“Formula E is exciting. There’s a lot to be interested at the moment and there’s DTM obviously, too.
“Formula One is the ultimate goal but there’s a lot more to be excited about as a young driver.”
Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix when he passed Max Verstappen with three laps to go.
The defending world champion extended his lead over Valtteri Bottas at the top of the standings to 61 points as the drivers head into the summer break.
Hamilton was within one second of Verstappen when he was called in for a second pit stop – Mercedes hoping that a switch to fresh tyres would provide the British star with a chance to usurp the Belgium driver.
The strategy move by Formula 1‘s all-conquering team proved inspired.
Hamilton left the pit lane 21 seconds behind Verstappen with 21 laps remaining, the Briton lighting up the time sheets before catching the back of the Red Bull.
The 33-year-old then made the move on lap 67 to take the win.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third ahead of his team-mate Charles Leclerc.
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Bottas ended the race in eighth place after he had to stop for a new front wing following a collision with Leclerc on the opening lap.
“Wow, just wow, mate,” said Hamilton’s engineer, Pete Bonnington. “What a drive. What a strategy.”
Hamilton replied: “That was a tall order but I am grateful you did it. That feels so good. I hope you are feeling it too.”
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