Hey all, comments are open

Sorry for the long silence. Been busy at work.

I’m pretty sure comments kinda everywhere are opened again. The settings here at wordpress aren’t the most user friendly I’ve ever seen (still pretty awesome for free blog hosts, I do admit!), but I’m reasonably sure I’ve done what needs to be done. Counting on all of you to keep the tone respectful and non-judgemental.

I’ll be back shortly with the next instalment of the trackside intervention series; if any of you have any burning subjects you’d like to have considered, don’t hesitate to suggest stuff.

30 thoughts on “Hey all, comments are open

  1. Hi Gary
    Firstly, thank you for your clear, concise and (most importantly) educated and informed information about stuff that has happened this year. Michael, Jules and everything else that we F1 fans don’t get to see on TV…. your knowledge and insight are appreciated.

    But this is on a complete tangent. I’m sightly biased because I’m in the UK and used to live in London, and the link I’m about to post relates to the amazing people of the London Air Ambulance Service. But the same is true of all emergency responders…. but in the UK, especially the Air Ambulances, because they’re all charities (In US parlance, not for profit organisations)

    They do an amazing job that nobody else does. So, if you want to think of a worthwhile charity in your own country that does amazing work day in and day out, look at the flying doctors, the air-ambulances and those emergency responders that are first on the scene. They helped Michael Schumacher, they would have helped Jules Bianchi if it had been appropriate. They are on call for ever F1 and FIA-sanctioned event…. but they help “ordinary people” day in and day out and they deserve our support.

  2. Questions about Schumacher’s ventilator. I assume if he’s still using one that removing it would be life threatening? Is it possible he could regain consciousness, yet still require a ventilator? I am under the impression breathing comes from the brain stem, which is deep within the head and difficult to injure? So that an inability to breathe speaks to a really deep trauma that would almost certainly affect other parts of the brain? We refer to “pulling the plug” for patients who are brain dead and simply pass away a few minutes to hours after removing a ventilator. How might this apply to Michael? Can his family simply overrule such a medical decision indefinitely? Would they ask the family to remove him from the hospital if they had “given up” in this way? Unpleasant thoughts, but sometimes just part of life.

  3. Watched a film about the TT races on the IoM last night and in particular I wonder how the medical facilities there compare with what is now standard at F1GP circuits. We saw Guy Martin’s astonishing 170mph flat out fireball crash which he later put down to a slight difference in tyre adhesion, he had not quite achieved the tyre temperature he thought after a tyre change and a tank fill (and was necessary for the grip at that point) He had (relatively) minimal injuries and vowed to go and try harder. Which was the ethos of all who raced there. It took me back to Stirling Moss saying “If it wasn’t dangerous we wouldn’t do it”. However the TT is surely the last European bike race venue to be on public roads with just bales of straw as safety measures. But the spirit of the place and even of the widow and children of one of the riders was quite remarkable but in F1 safety terms in the stone age, a fact seemingly accepted by all.

  4. Nice to have you back. There was an interesting comment on your last post concerning whether or not the ERS systems used this year would change the way that marshalls and medics operated in a crash situation. I’d be interested to read your thought on that.

  5. Hi Doc, glad to see your back, I hope I’m not overstepping the mark when I say this but: the odd short post every now and then so we know you haven’t vanished would be awesome, I understand your busy with work as I too get embroiled in processes that eat my time and distract me from other things and that’s fine, I’m sure you are helping more people than most of us when your not here!, I found this blog when reading up on Michaels condition all those months back, but I turn to it every night now not to look for information that it’s now clear is not going to be forthcoming, but, to soak up any of your wonderful insights into Motorsport, F1 and medicine, not to mention your wonderful tales from the annals of F1, I only have a few places I visit this regularly and when I see a new post here I can’t wait to delve below the hood and get my hands oily in the sport I love, you have become a companion to be held in the highest regard, someone who I turn to for inspiration and insight during my most receptive moments and I feel a little sad when there’s no light from your campfire.

    This blog has attracted a lot of attention recently and sometimes it seems you have had enough of that and thrown in the towel, please don’t consider that as you have many fans who came along for one reason or another but have stuck around for the quality of the content, the amiability of your personality and the desire to hear more of the tales your fascinating and privileged life has afforded you so far.

    Thanks for all the entertainment, looking forward to more!

  6. Hi All……. It’s been a sad sad day. Five months today that our Michael fell …….. I’ve just arrived from the airport for what seemed like an endless flight from Monaco. I’m sitting in my hotel room on the airport strip, in a place called Mississauga; a few miles west of Toronto in Canada. I didn’t come here for the race in Quebec. I’ve decided not to go to anymore F1 GP races, not this year anyway. Just too painful knowing that Michael wasn’t milling around the paddock somewhere during the race weekends. And way too many pictures of him in my apartment. I had to get away from there.
    I have some friends in northern Ontario who own a beautiful B&B on Georgian Bay in which I invested several years ago as a silent partner, so there’s always a room available there for me. It’s nice to go, especially in the warm months when I need to de-stress &/or think. As I work in and around Europe, it really feels like I’m on the other side of the world here, which I sort of am, lol. At the moment I really need private time to process this situation, keeping in mind that I met this great man when he was only a young child 35 years ago.
    That’s all for now, it’s wonderful to connect to all of you again through this blog, as I find it very therapeutic. I too would like the Doc to weigh in on the questions posed in this thread. And Sue Law, if you are reading this; I’d love to hear how & where you got Michael’s autograph etc. This request also extends to anyone who has a special memory of dear Michael Schumacher.
    I wish you all health & happiness. K.C. I hope you are back to your normal self. And thanks Doc, you are the best 🙂 

    • Hi Liza, welcome back, would love to hear more from you about our precious Michael, keep on writing!

      I was lucky enough to get an autograph at Silverstone when Michael was still at Ferrari. I managed to get hold of a paddock pass for a short period from an acquaintance, it was lunchtime on practice day and Michael left the garage and walked to the motor home for lunch. The fans stood ten deep at the barrier and I joined the throng determined not to leave until me came back out.

      One hour later and I was at the front, pressed up against the barrier! Michael came out and starting at one end of the line he moved down slowly signing autographs as he went. I had a postcard which he took from me and signed. As he passed it back and I thanked him I noticed that I was the only one who has said thanks. After that others thanked him too. I would like to think that he might have noticed that, good manners cost nothing!

      When it was all over I was ecstatic, I found somewhere quiet to hyperventilate with the excitement of it all!!!!

      It is something I shall never forget, my impression of michael was of a man on a mission, he was at work, he had a no nonsense, business like demeanour about him. I think about that moment often and I have some incredible photos.

      Thanks for asking me to share this with you


    • Five months, yes, looking back, memories of an-on-the-edge-of-our-seats everything.

      First, thank you for your kind wishes… It took nine days. So insightful in the very teensiest of ways. It is very hard for me to see how Michael could survive his injuries considering the complete brain involvement he suffered.

      I too, like Dr. Gary, am, now, NOT looking forward to any update/announcement from the family. AND like Peter K., I find the family’s lack of communication in the “Lack of Respect for Fans” column and their claim of “privacy” very self-centered verging on disingenuous and self grandiose.
      Another part of me understands and is somewhat sympathetic.

      On the lighter side, glad you are back safely and soundly. I enjoy your stories and your sharing of experiences. As for me, living in two worlds is never easy and rarely graceful. Take good care!

      • Thanks KC for mentioning me, I now feel like part of the circle and it feels like a good place to be. X

    • Hi be- Liza, I wish you well 🙂

      On my part I never knew or interacted with MS but from what I can ascertain from others etc is that he was a good person, with interests in safety and interests in charity.

      I have had more interaction with you, KC, Jan, Peter … and others on this comments board than I have had with MS, so in a sense I care more about you and others on this comment board than I do about MS. Of course there was one person from the deleted thread that doesn’t fall into this category as there are some things I cannot support no matter how misguided.

  7. Hello,
    In the History of Formula1 program on US TV Monaco weekend, the push-pull between drivers and safety concerns was explored. The consensus was drivers would trade some safety for more speed. I wondered about that and then read in Autoweek this morning:

    Speaking to reporters in Monaco last weekend, [Raikkonen] had said, “The problem is obviously people are more scared that you get hurt so they try to limit everything that you do.
    “It’s a shame because I think it would be more fun for everybody and all sports would also benefit from it, and F1.”


    Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20140529/f1/140529802#ixzz337FyaxVv
    Follow us: @AutoweekUSA on Twitter | AutoweekUSA on Facebook

  8. I’ve just finished Professor Sid’s book “Life at the Limit” which is excellent, but like a Cohen Bros film, it just kinda stops. It was written a long time ago, but I would be interested to know how things compare today with driver physiology. In light of recent revelations about drivers starving and dehydrating, here is what Sid said in paraphrase: He said that the FISA medical commission in 1982 proposed 1 litres of fluid before the race, one or two during the race and two litres afterwards. Sid mentions his dehydration effect tests in the army and that lead me on to a book (whose details I cannot remember) written by an English lad who joined the French Foreign Legion and the desert regime followed, therein during training, which blew away all knowledge of dehydration, as they existed on a tiny fraction of the barest minimum recommendation today.
    So finally to the question, going on from the tests that Sid mentions in the 80s and well before are there new data that contradict the original? (No doubt research is continuous, but only if someone is paying for it) Correspondingly what is your view of what drivers are doing now to reduce weight and the likely effects upon them?

  9. hello,

    While listening to various F1 programs over the Monaco weekend I heard that Michael Schumacher is now home. Is this true?
    Also, there is an incredible 2 hour program on the history of Formula 1 – with primary emphasis on the increased importance of safety in the sport. The hiring and subsequent role of Sid Watkins in setting safety standards was emphasized. Excellent piece.


    • Where did you hear that ? I didn’t hear that. Sounds not realistic or it is bad news. Would mean there is no – or at least very few – hope he regains full consciousness.

      • Hello ludivine,

        We were watching all the NBC sports Monaco programming when someone on TV said Schumacher is home. It was a passing comment as though everyone already knew it. Of course we all talked about this and took it as truth. Only after I wrote my comment did I go online to learn more and found no mention of MS having gone home. At this moment I have no idea where or how he is.

        There are so many who carry Michael in their thoughts it seems it would be the kind thing for the family to let us know a bit about his condition. On the other side, I know what it is to have a loved one in coma and it is very difficult to acknowledge the bleak ramifications.


    • Thank you for the answer.
      With the way this commentator told this, I suppose the fact is not true. He must have misunderstood last reports about Michael’s progresses or heard a false rumor… I think if he really had investigated or had a scoop he would have been so proud and would have emphasized it in his comment.
      And sounds not realistic Michael would be awake and already at home just a few weeks after the last Sabine Kehm’s report. And what about rehab ?
      Or at the opposite, it would be a very bad sign… that there is no more hope he will progress more and they’ll keep him in coma at his home with medical installation…

  10. Dr Gary – good to hear from you and I look forward to your thoughts about Michael as well as the continuation of your series.

    Best to you


    • Same here Peter, I would also be interested to hear what the Doc’s thoughts are now. By the way welcome back Doctor Gary, sure have missed your blogs

  11. PS welcome back, love your work (even before you were ‘former’!). Any insights into MSC likely condition would be a welcome read also. Maybe there is nothing left to say with the information currently available (none). What are the stats for someone that has been in a coma for 5 months?

  12. Having somehow come across a lengthy video of a broadcast feed that included the orbiting helicopter shots of the scene of Senna’s fatal crash, I would like to know more about the steps that were performed by the teams as they arrived on scene. Who made the decision to move the medivac chopper to the scene of the crash?

  13. I’m interested in the psychology of the merc pair. A week ago, it seemed NR was loosing the mental battle, but LH always seems to wear his heart on his sleeve. After a weekend will he refocus and come through it, or carry it to Canada? If he carries it to the next race, how will his emotional state, and therefore physical condition (raised adrenaline maybe) affect his mood approaching the race and the decision making process whilst under pressure.

    This could be applied to any pairing, Sebastian could also be seen as being on the edge of his temper, and if going wheel to wheel with DR, there could be ‘issues’.

  14. Welcome back, doc! If time permits I’d be interested on your views on inter-team rivalry. Things seem to be hotting up between Nico and Lewis at Mercedes – do you find that from a medical PoV it’s worrying when teammates lose respect for each other, because it increases the chances of drivers taking risks on the track, or is it all just part of racing?

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