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SCHUMACHER

Ex-F1 doc alleges errors in Schumacher case

Formula One star Michael Schumacher's medical condition after a serious head injury in France was made worse by 'lapses in judgement' during initial treatment, the racing circuit's former chief doctor has said.

Ex-F1 doc alleges errors in Schumacher case
Formula One's former top doctor said medical errors were made after Michael Schumacher's major head injury. Photo: AFP

Formula One's former chief doctor has said "serious lapses" in early treatment may have worsened Michael Schumacher's condition and warned his chances of recovery from a skiing
accident are decreasing over time.

Gary Hartstein, F1 medical delegate until 2012, wrote on his blog that he had learned "from usually impeccable sources who have access to this information" that mistakes had been made in the German great's initial care.

"I think that serious lapses in judgement were evident during Michael's initial management… these lapses could (and almost certainly did) worsen the outcome in Michael's case," he wrote.

Hartstein later clarified on Twitter that he was referring to "botched"  pre-hospital care and not standards at the Grenoble hospital where the seven-time world champion is being treated.

But Hartstein did not give details about what mistakes may have affected Schumacher, 45, who is in an induced coma after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident on December 29.

Hartstein, in the blog written ahead of this week's Malaysian Grand Prix, said: "As time goes on… it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent."

Schumacher's plight hangs heavy over Formula One, with his former team Ferrari this week tweeting a team photo with well wishes and the message "Forza Michael".

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FORMULA ONE

Manager blasts French Schumacher story

On the one-year anniversary of Formula One racing great Michael Schumacher's skiing accident in France, his manager is warning that reports on Schumacher's health in a French newspaper are false.

Manager blasts French Schumacher story
Formula One champion Michael Schumacher skiing. Photo: DPA
Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's manager, told Bild that there was no way the information in Le Parisien was credible. 
 
Former Formula One driver Philippe Streiff told the French daily on Sunday that the German seven-time racing champion was "communicating with this eyes" and that while he's recognizing his family again, he still has "big problems with his memory." 
 
He added that physically, Schumacher was working on sitting up on his own. 
 
Streiff cited his friendship with Schumacher's doctor, Gérard Saillant as the source of this information. He also said he had contact with Corinna Schumacher, Michael's wife of nearly 20 years.
 
"The statements of Philippe Streiff can only make me wonder. He definitely does not have contact with Professor Saillant and definitely not with Corinna." 
 
Streiff also called Schumacher "my friend", saying that he worked with the Schumachers in 2010 when they founded the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris (ICM), where he also works.
 
Furthermore, Streiff lives in Grenoble, where Schumacher was first hospitalised after a freak skiing accident put him into a six-month-long coma. 
 
"I was there," Streiff told Le Parisien. 
 
Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm. Photo: DPA
 
This only provoked further ire for Schumacher's spokesperson. 
 
"There is absolutely no contact with the Schumacher family. There has never been a friendship between Mr Streiff and Michael," Kehm said. 
 
It's been one year since the German Formula One ace suffered severe head injuries while skiing with this family in the French Alps.
 
After being in a coma for half a year, Schumacher is "making progress appropriate to the severity of his situation, but it will be a difficult and long process," Kehm said in November in an interview with broadcaster RTL. 
 
Schumi, as he is known in Germany, has been recovering in his home in Gland, Switzerland.
 
His family say they were "confident and hoping for the best" for his recovery. 
 
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