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Michael Schumacher Netflix documentary, F1 2021 news, 1999 British Grand Prix crash

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Michael Schumacher says in the new Netflix documentary surrounding his life and mysterious health condition he thought he was dying when involved in a scary crash on the track.

The ‘SCHUMACHER’ docu-series released this week has made headlines around the world for the clues it has uncovered as to why his family remains so desperate to keep his condition a secret.

He hasn’t been seen in public since suffering a near-fatal brain injury while skiing in the French Alps in December 2013, and details of his condition remain scarce.

The series shows just as much drama and emotion off the track as it does on the track.

One of the most terrifying moments of the seven-time world champion’s career is explored in the series where new film shows the 52-year-old speaking about his horror crash at the 1999 British Grand Prix.

German Formula One legend Michael Schumacher. Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP.Source: AFP

The German driver famously crashed into the barriers at the Silverstone track at 150km/h, suffering a broken leg and other minor injuries.

The documentary shows Schumacher saying he believed for one moment he was dying.

“The front wheel had smashed the cockpit, and it was still stuck somewhere in there,” he said.

“I couldn’t get out, and I was trying to pull my leg out, which was trapped. I’m lying there and notice that I’m calming down a bit.

“Suddenly I feel my heartbeat fading, becoming slower and slower, until suddenly it stops completely.

“I think, ‘This is probably how it feels when you’re on your way upstairs’.”

Racing driver Michael Schumacher crashing into tyred safety barrier at Silverstone.Source: AP
Wreckage of Ferrari driven by Michael Schumacher.Source: AP

The scary incident came four years after the tragedy that changed Schumacher forever when motorsport icon Ayrton Senna died during the San Marino Grand Prix.

The Brazilian lost control of his car at the Tamburello corner and slammed into the barriers at more than 300km/h. The race was stopped, Senna was flown to hospital and later pronounced dead.

In the doco, Schumacher reflects on that horrific day and the weeks that followed. He’d seen similar crashes before where drivers had walked away with just broken bones and bruises, so couldn’t wrap his head around what happened to Senna.

After Senna was taken to hospital, the race restarted and Schumacher went on to win. But there was no champagne on the podium, with everyone still waiting for news on the condition of one of the world’s most-loved drivers.

Mixed messages and differing details followed. Schumacher was told Senna was in a coma, then another person told him he was dead, then minutes later he was in a coma again. It was all changing until confirmation came of the worst news imaginable.

How Schumacher family are keeping the family secret

Schumacher’s wife Corinna has been central to protecting the F1 legend’s privacy — though it’s an approach that hasn’t always sat well with everyone. Schumacher’s manager during his racing days Willi Weber, for example, has said previously his former client’s fans deserve to be kept informed and pointed the finger at Corinna for denying him access to his friend.

“I know that Michael has been hit hard, but unfortunately I do not know what progress he makes,” Weber said. “I’d like to know how he’s doing and shake hands or stroke his face.

“But unfortunately, this is rejected by Corinna.

“She’s probably afraid that I’ll see right away what’s going on and make the truth public.”

Corinna has said before she is following her soulmate’s wishes to keep his health out of the spotlight and the documentary opens a window into just what she means.

Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna. AFP PHOTO / BRITTA PEDERSEN.Source: AFP

“‘Private is private’, as he always said. It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible,” Corinna says.

“Michael always protected us and now we are protecting Michael.”

She adds that Schumacher enjoyed racing in its purest form, but not everything else that came with being a global superstar.

“What he really didn’t like was the press, the people, all the hype around him,” she says. “That’s not what he wanted. He wanted to do the sport.

“Michael is very suspicious. He always has been, during the initial period. Until he thinks he knows someone or can trust them, then he opens up completely.”

Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss and good friend Jean Todt, who is optimistic the seven-time world champion will one day recover, says in the documentary Schumacher “is an extremely reserved, shy person”.

“He was looking for a normal life and he had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t have that normal life,” Todt says.

Observations like those show why Schumacher wouldn’t want his health condition being made public.

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Brazil Grand Prix result, McLaren power loss, chassis crack

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Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren team has revealed a cracked chassis was the reason he was forced to quit the Brazil Grand Prix on Monday morning.

The Australian suffered a cruel nightmare when he was forced to retire late in the race as a result of his MCL35M experiencing power loss.

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He said after the race he had been optimistic about finishing ahead of Ferrari rivals Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, possibly finishing as high as fifth in Monday’s dramatic Grand Prix won by Lewis Hamilton.

Despite being out-performed by Ferrari all weekend, the team’s strategy of running a one-stop race on harder tyres had appeared like a stroke of genius before the day was ruined instantly by his fading power.

McLaren has now announced the team investigated the loss of power inside the garage and found a crack had formed within components related to its power unit installation.

McLaren’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo speaks during a press conference. Photo by Rudy CAREZZEVOLI / POOL / AFP.Source: AFP

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the team will continue to investigate why the problem occurred.

“We had a power loss on track,” he said.

“In the initial investigation we found a technical issue, a crack on the chassis side of the power unit installation, which we need to now investigate. I can give you a better update next week in Qatar.”

It ended Ricciardo’s run of 34 consecutive races of reaching the finish line. Ricciardo was called into the garage on lap 51, just 20 laps short of the chequered flag.

He said after the race it was a new problem he had not experienced since joining the team for the start of the 2021 season.

“We were looking like we were going to get a few points and the race was going pretty well, we were coping pretty well – potentially a one-stop strategy could have worked out for us strongly,” he said.

“It was definitely a better day than yesterday and I was happy with how we were going but it was just out of our control today.

“We knew they had to two-stop. I think they had a bit more pace but maybe through strategy we could’ve disrupted them.

“But then we had a loss of power and had to retire the car. Definitely a shame, but it was a much more promising day than [Saturday]. We’ll take the positives from that, and we’ve got another chance next week.”

It capped off a miserable weekend for McLaren with Lando Norris only able to score one championship point after finishing 10th.

Daniel Ricciardo was going to salvage some points for McLaren. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The team struggled to find a quick set-up through Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s sprint race.

Ricciardo dropped from eighth to 11th during the sprint race after dropping down the field in the opening lap.

Qatar stages the next chapter of 2021’s gripping title battle next Sunday.

With AFP

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Brazilian Grand Prix, Constructors championship, leaderboard, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, feud, Toto Wolff, Christian Horner, engine, rear wing

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Just three rounds are left in the race for the Formula 1 title and two challengers remain.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton – the same two that have been caught up in a simmering feud that has been escalating all season.

A rivalry that has already reached boiling point and yet is far from settling down as the crescendo climax awaits at Abu Dhabi in December.

Hamilton’s dream of a record-breaking eighth world championship remains very much a possibility after his incredible resurgence in Brazil.

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Hamilton clinches dramatic win in Brazil | 03:05

It leaves him just 14 points behind Red Bull’s Verstappen and with the stakes only set to get higher, the competition will subsequently become even fiercer.

Both team principals have refused to interfere too much in the drama, instead describing the conflict back in September as the coming together of two equally-competitive combatants.

“Max is a no-quarter kind of guy; Lewis has demonstrated that he doesn’t want to give anything either and when you get two racers of that mentality, you get incidents,” Red Bull’s Christian Horner said.

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff was equally diplomatic at the time adding: “The point is that these two are racing for a drivers’ championship and you can’t expect them to have velvet gloves on”.

That all changed on Monday morning though, with even Wolff taking his velvet gloves off.

“I think we’ve just had many, many punches in the face this weekend,” he said.

“Decisions that could have swung either side against us or for us. It’s something that I’m just angry about and I will defend my team, my drivers to what comes.

“I’ve always been very diplomatic in how I discuss things, but diplomacy has ended today.”

What exactly sparked the change in mood from Wolff?

Well, there were a host of incidents that all came to a head of Monday as the ongoing feud between Mercedes and Red Bull spilled over.

It started when Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying classification after the FIA deemed his rear wing not to be legal, with the Drag Reduction System opening greater than the maximum 85 millimetres allowed.

RACE IS ON: Title twist could see Hamilton and Verstappen go to historic tie-breaker

Is Max too close for comfort? | 00:27

Wolff could hardly believe it, telling reporters he thought Mercedes sporting director Ron Meadows “was joking” when the news came through on WhatsApp.

Earlier in the day Verstappen had walked over to Hamilton’s car and briefly touched the rear wing, copping a hefty fine for his actions.

It was Verstappen’s defensive driving on the track though on Monday morning that really sent Wolff over the edge, particularly given the punishment handed down to Hamilton a few days earlier.

It was turn three on lap 48 and Hamilton had long been closing in on Verstappen, who held a slender lead.

Like Wolff had said back in September, these were two drivers competing for a championship and willing to do whatever it takes in the pursuit of that goal.

What Verstappen did next though crossed a line according to the Mercedes boss.

It was another flashpoint in the pair’s ongoing duel, with Verstappen seeming to deliberately push his championship rival off the track to keep hold of his lead.

F1 race director Michael Masi has since hinted Verstappen could face a retrospective penalty for the incident once all footage is reviewed but at the time no punishment was laid down.

Given Hamilton’s previous disqualification, Wolff was left livid by the decision.

Verstappen and Hamilton flare once again | 00:31

“That was just over the line – should have been a five-second penalty at least – and probably Max knew that,” he said.

“Just brushing it under the carpet is just the tip of the iceberg. I mean, it’s laughable.”

Wolff though was in no laughing mood when it also emerged that Red Bull made wing changes under parc ferme conditions on the same weekend Mercedes was denied that chance.

“No I’m not [happy], it is being judged two different ways here in the sport at this time,” he said of that development.

Horner later clarified from Red Bull’s standpoint that the two requests were “completing different”, telling Sky Sports Mercedes had failed a legality test on their repair.

It changed little for Wolff though, only intensifying the siege mentality which saw him declare: “Lewis – brilliant job. Damage limitation. F*** them all” on the team radio after the sprint race.

“I don’t want to claim anything on the stewards… I think they have a difficult life anyway and they are only there to lose,” Wolff later added.

“But in a certain way when you’re taking punches all weekend and you have such a situation on top of everything, you’re just losing faith.”

When Hamilton and Verstappen crashed back at the British Grand Prix and Horner launched a scathing attack at the Brit’s driving, it seemed tensions between Mercedes and Red Bull had reached boiling point.

Bottas takes pole in Brazil | 01:11

Instead, four months later, the drama is still bubbling away and with the championship yet to be decided it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Particularly when you consider the added mystery of Mercedes’ engine problems.

Rules allow teams to make changes to the engine provided it improves reliability as opposed to the performance advantage.

Mercedes had already previously hinted at the need for additional power unit parts at the end of the season and on the weekend, they took the gamble.

With Hamilton already trailing Verstappen in the race to the title, a grid penalty was the last setback Mercedes needed but the sudden jump in pace was needed.

It ended up giving the Brit a significant boost to his straight-line speed and helped Hamilton secure a remarkable victory.

It also, along with the rear wing of Hamilton’s car, left Verstappen suspicious and Red Bull searching for answers.

A late protest could provide them but not just yet.

“We need to look at where that speed comes from,” Horner said.

“It’s not normal and we need to look at it, but it’s too early to protest.”

Just another ongoing drama as Hamilton eyes history with the entire F1 world watching.

Red Bull in particular it seems will be keeping a close eye on it all.

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F1 Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen Brazil Grand Prix incident, camera footage missing

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The FIA has confirmed race officials did not look at footage from Max Verstappen’s on-board camera before announcing his fiery incident with Lewis Hamilton in Brazil would not be investigated.

The wheel to wheel tussle in Monday’s Brazil Grand Prix left the Formula 1 world with its heart in its mouth as the two world championship rivals nearly made contact on Lap 48 at Turn 4.

Hamilton produced one of the greatest drives in recent memory to win the Brazil Grand Prix on Monday morning, but the big talking point was the moment his rivalry with Verstappen almost exploded.

More than 24 hours after the race was won, the footage from Verstappen’s Red Bull is still yet to see the light of day.

Conspiracy theories surrounding the missing footage are growing louder following a Daily Mail report Mercedes is still considering launching an official protest of the decision not to penalise the 24-year-old.

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Hamilton is now 14 points behind Verstappen — but the margin could easily have been even further reduced if action had been taken against Verstappen.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said after the race it was “laughable” that Verstappen avoided any penalty for the moment the Red Bull star appeared to run Hamilton off the track.

Formula 1 commentators on Sky Sports unanimously agreed action should have been taken against Verstappen after he took a shallow line into Turn 4 when Hamilton had already passed him entering the corner and controlled the racing line. Verstappen didn’t give an inch.

Sky Sports first revealed after the race the broadcaster was yet to download the footage from Verstappen’s Red Bull that would have revealed his dashboard and steering wheel movement throughout the incident.

Max Verstappen appeared to be steering wide. Photo: Kayo, Fox Sports.
Max Verstappen appeared to be steering wide. Photo: Kayo, Fox Sports.Source: Supplied

Sky sports technical analyst Anthony Davidson said after the race available camera angles of the incident appear to show Verstappen failing to attempt to steer his car towards the apex of the turn — a clear suggestion Verstappen deliberately forced Hamilton off the track.

He said footage from Verstappen’s on-board camera would be crucial to see if Verstappen’s steering wheel was ever in a position that would have allowed the Dutch driver to make the hard turn.

Wolff also said he would like to see the on-board footage from Verstappen’s Red Bull.

The FIA had ruled the near-collision was a “racing incident” that needed no further investigation — prompting scorn from Lewis Hamilton over the team radio.

F1 race director Michael Masi has now confirmed the key missing footage has still not been seen by race officials.

He said it is “only the cameras that were broadcast” that officials had access to in investigating the incident.

“The forward facing, the 360, there’s all of the camera angles that we don’t get live that will be downloaded and we’ll have a look at them post-race,” he said.

“It hasn’t been obtained yet. It’s been requested.”

He conceded the footage from Verstappen’s Red Bull could be a “smoking gun”.

“Could be, absolutely. Possibly. But no, we didn’t have access to it,” he said.

“And obviously, it’s being downloaded. And once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we’ll have a look.”

Sky Sports analyst Anthony Davidson suggests Max Verstappen didn’t make a serious effort to make the turn.Source: Supplied

Hamilton had earlier called the incident “crazy” when first told of the incident was being looked at by stewards. It took him 11 more laps before he got the move to stick on Lap 59.

Davidson said footage of Verstappen’s dash could easily have resulted in the FIA taking action against Verstappen.

“You always need in these situations other camera angles. The FIA have more camera angles than we do, but they’re missing this critical on-board shot,” he said.

“I think if they had that on-board shot it’s a very different story today.”

He said broadcast cameras appeared to show Verstappen not making enough effort to make the turn.

“Usually what you’d be looking for is a telltale sign like a lock-up on the inside front tyre,” he said.

“A sign that the driver is right at the adhesion of grip, and the steering angle being forced into the car. And the other thing you’re looking for is, is the driver on the apex — is the driver doing everything to make the corner.

“I can’t see that much steering angle going into the car. For me, it’s very well done by Max, cramping him off the road. But I’m not seeing enough effort being put into the car to try and make the corner.”

Former F1 driver Paul di Resta said on Sky Sports after the race he at least expected Verstappen to be ordered to give the position back to Hamilton.

Former driver Johnny Herbert also said he anticipated a five-second penalty being handed down.

It’s why Wolff was so unhappy after the race, describing Verstappen’s move as “over the line”.

“It was really wrong defence from Max, absolutely an inch over the limit, but he needed to do that to defend,” he said.

“Lewis just managed it even more brilliantly by avoiding the contact and end the race that way.

“But that was just over the line, it should have been a five-second penalty at least. Probably Max knew that. Just brushing it under the carpet, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s just laughable.”

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win. Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

A five second penalty would have seen Verstappen finish third behind Mercedes’ driver Valtteri Bottas, who was three seconds behind the Dutch driver as they crossed the line.

That would have cut Verstappen’s lead to just 11 championship points with three races remaining.

Hamilton was also suspicious after the race, suggesting the decision not to take action against Verstappen was pre-ordained.

“When they said they were going to investigate, I just knew the decision they were going to come to, whether it was right or wrong,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports.

“I didn’t let it phase me, I just kept racing.”

It was just one of the many moments of drama throughout the weekend, which began with Hamilton taking a grid penalty for introducing a new engine.

After his car’s rear wing was found to have violated technical rules by 0.2mm, Hamilton started Sunday’s sprint race from last, and also started Monday’s grand prix from 10th as a result of his earlier grid penalty.

Near-perfect as Hamilton was, he was still fined $9000 for undoing his safety belt on his victory lap in breach of the rules to accept a Brazilian flag from a track marshall.

Qatar makes its F1 debut as host of next Sunday’s latest fix of the sport’s refreshingly exciting circuit drama followed by Saudi Arabia and the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in mid-December.

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