UK & World News

  • 4 January 2014, 10:41

Schumacher: Friend Says German 'Out Of Danger'

A camera reportedly attached to Michael Schumacher's helmet is being looked at in the hope it will reveal more about the circumstances of his skiing accident.

Authorities are examining the device and are also questioning Schumacher's son, who was with him when he crashed, according to French news agency AFP.

Small helmet-mounted cameras have become popular for filming extreme sports in recent years.

It comes after friend Philippe Strieff told reporters outside the hospital on Friday that the German's life was no longer in danger.

He said: "I'm not a doctor, I'm repeating what Gerard Saillant (surgeon and friend of the Schumacher family) told me.

"Gerard Saillant said it is a serious condition but his life is not in danger anymore now, thankfully."

However, no official statement has been made by the hospital or Schumacher's representatives to confirm those claims.

Meanwhile, Schumacher's family have said they were "utterly overwhelmed" and "moved to tears" by fans' silent vigil to mark the Formula One legend's 45th birthday.

On the driver's official website the family said: "The incredible sympathies shown today by the Ferrari Fans outside the hospital has utterly overwhelmed us and moved us all to tears.

"We are deeply grateful for it and also for all the heartwarming and heartfelt wishes for Michael to get well soon, which have reached us from all over the world."

The seven-times F1 world champion has been in Grenoble University Hospital since suffering critical head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday.

His father Rolf and brother Ralf arrived separately to visit him on Friday. His wife Corinna and children Gina-Maria, 16, and 14-year-old Mick are also at his bedside.

The Ferrari team, for which he spent many years racing, bussed in scores of fans from Italy and France to the hospital.

It put a message on its website, saying "Forza Michael," or "Go Michael" in Italian.

"He is tackling the most important fight of his life and therefore we want to send him very special wishes," said Schumacher's old team, as similar messages poured in from around the world.

German former tennis ace Boris Becker wished his compatriot "Happy Birthday" on Twitter, adding "Fight Schumi" in a German hashtag.

Schumacher slammed his head against a rock on Sunday while skiing near Meribel and has had two operations to remove bleeding and pressure on his brain.

He is being kept in an induced coma and the latest health update given by his manager on Wednesday described his condition as stable but still critical.

Accountant Stefano Pini, 47, who arrived at the hospital from Milan to pay tribute, said: "Schumi has given us a lot in the past.

"The least we could do is to come here and support him and his family on his birthday."

French fan Gabriel Klose, who turned up with his 12-year-old son, said: "He is one of my greatest idols. We want him to fight and to return to us."

However, the Ferrari tribute also created controversy.

Some have accused the Italian racing giant - which asked fans to sport its trademark colour red and its insignia - of exceeding the limits of good taste.

The carmaker, which has 130 clubs in Europe, provided about 20 coaches across Italy to bus in fans for the vigil.

But Roberto Luongo, president of the Roma-Colesseo Ferrari club, said he did not want to be associated with an event linked to "a man who is suffering".

"It's very delicate and if I was among those who are close to Michael, such an initiative would not have pleased me," he said.

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