F1 »

Doctor presence sparks fresh Schumacher neck concerns

Fresh concerns have arisen regarding the state of Michael Schumacher's neck, after the Mercedes Grand Prix F1 returnee's personal doctor and physiotherapist were spotted in the Valencia paddock during testing this week
Michael Schumacher might have lapped a competitive third-quickest on his return to F1 testing action on the opening day in Valencia this week – indeed, fleetingly a staggering four seconds faster than anybody else until it transpired that he had cut the chicane in order to achieve that time – but fears remain about the state of the seven-time world champion's neck after his personal doctor was spotted in the paddock.

Schumacher completed 40 laps of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in the Spanish city on Monday afternoon, and lopped a full six tenths of a second off the earlier best effort of Mercedes Grand Prix team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg, though the younger German was admittedly running on a heavy fuel load and struggling with a less-than-ideal driving position inside the new W01.

The record-breaking Kerpen-born native was forced to abandon plans to temporarily substitute former Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in the wake of the Brazilian's life-threatening Hungaroring qualifying accident last summer, after a recurring neck injury – the legacy of a motorcycling fall at Cartagena in Spain twelve months ago – came back to haunt him.

Upon agreeing terms for a three-year contract with reigning double F1 World Champions Mercedes in December – to make what has been billed as the greatest comeback in sporting history – Schumacher insisted that his neck was no longer an issue, but the presence of both his personal doctor Johannes Peil and physiotherapist Kai Schnapka has cast fresh doubt upon that conviction, particularly given that the physical stresses and strains of a grand prix race distance are somewhat more demanding than 40 laps around a testing track. Some reports even alluded to 'secret tests' taking place later that evening.

“I'm superstitious, so we will have to wait and see,” Dr. Peil told Sportsmail, before adding in an interview with German news agency DPA: “He is now back to the normal cycle and can train to the normal extent. He can concentrate on driving again.”

The 41-year-old himself appeared far from concerned about his fitness, insisting: “I feel very good. I have worked very well, prepared myself extremely precisely – and this is the result.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
01.02.2010 Valencia, Spain, Johannes Peie, Doctor of Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP - Formula 1 Testing, Valencia
01.02.2010 Valencia, Spain, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP - Formula 1 Testing, Valencia
02.02.2010 Valencia, Spain, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP returns from his bike run - Formula 1 Testing, Valencia -
01.02.2010 Valencia, Spain, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP pretends to take photos of the photographers - Formula 1 Testing, Valencia
01.02.2010 Valencia, Spain, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP - Formula 1 Testing, Valencia
Mercedes, Red Bull
Nico Rosberg - Mercedes W06
daniel ricciardo (aus), red bull, F1 Austria test [Credit: XPB]
Marco Wittmann (GER), Toro Rosso, F1 Austria test [Credit: XPB]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren-Honda MP4-30
Nico Rosberg - Mercedes W06
Nico Rosberg - Mercedes W06
Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes FW37
Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes FW37
Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes FW37
Pascal Wehrlein - Force India-Mercedes VJM08
Antonio Fuoco - Ferrari SF15-T
Esteban Ocon - Force India-Mercedes VJM08

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.