Former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has been admitted to a Paris hospital for “secret treatment”.
Le Parisien newspaper reported Schumacher has been in the hospital’s cardiovascular surgery department since Monday and is in the care of cardiac surgeon Professor Philippe Menasché, who specialises in cell therapy to treat heart failure.
Schumacher is expected to stay in the hospital for two days.
The Ferrari great turned 50 on January 3 but has not been seen in public since a skiing accident in the French Alps five years ago that left him with severe head injuries and in a medically-induced coma for several months.
The report claimed Schumacher has been benefiting from infusions of stem cells that are distributed in the body to obtain a systemic anti-inflammatory action.
Earlier this year former Ferrari boss and close friend of Schumacher Jean Todt provided a worrying update on the health of the former driver.
Todt told the Daily Express that he was saddened by the fact that his friendship with Schumacher could never be the same again.
“His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was,” Todt said.
“Just because there’s no longer the same communication as before. I can only say that his family is taking good care of him and he continues to fight.”
Ricciardo understands Vettel’s situation, having unseated him as the team’s key performer during their only season at Red Bull in 2014. After joining Ferrari from 2015, Vettel hit the ground running and won on his second start with the Scuderia in Malaysia.
Although Leclerc is winning the battle, Ricciardo believes Vettel “absolutely” has what it takes to claw momentum back, even as soon as this weekend.
“[I’m] probably a decent one to answer for it because it’s in times, in a similar position to maybe where he was in 2014 and he bounced back,” Ricciardo said of Vettel.
“I think [the] second race in 2015 he won in Malaysia, if memory serves.
“He has the ability to bounce back, and all it will take is one race.”
“I think it’s been a bit of an effect … it probably started — trying not to speak for him — in Canada,” Ricciardo said.
“Obviously the controversy there, it could’ve been his first win of the year.
“If that got done differently, it could’ve changed the whole outcome of these next few races. You never know.
“In the past, he’s always been strong here in Singapore, so this could be the weekend for him that he does turn it around.
“It’s just one [example] where he’s one race from turning it around … there’s a lot of things to deal with in this sport, especially when you’re at the top.
“It’s not just talent anymore, it’s pressure, it’s headspace, where you’re at in your personal life and all this.
“You don’t lose your talent, so can he still drive very fast? Absolutely, and I think he’s just waiting for that weekend to put it together and get himself back. It could very well happen this weekend.”
Very few motorsport fans wouldn’t know of Marquez’s exploits this decade, with the Spaniard the custodian of five (perhaps six in a month’s time) premier class crowns along with 125cc (2010) and Moto2 (2012) titles.
The journey began for Marquez at the 2008 Portuguese Grand Prix, where he made his 125cc debut as a 15-year-old. He finished 18th after starting 26th, before going on to score first world championship points at just his second race in China.
Marquez had to wait until 2010 for his first win, taken at the Italian Grand Prix. However, he would claim another nine victories that season en route to the 125cc crown.
If you want to gauge just how successful Marquez has been this decade, then consider this — he has never finished outside the top three in the championship since his 125cc-winning year in 2010.
An eighth world title is but a formality in 2019 with the Repsol Honda rider leading the standings by 93 points As the #93 returns to a favourite stomping ground this weekend, it seems only a matter of time before the records continue to tumble.
Marquez has claimed more premier class wins (4) than any other rider at MotorLand Aragon. He has also taken pole twice.
Last weekend’s San Marino thriller marked his 77th Grand Prix victory, moving Marquez past Mike Hailwood’s 76. Just Giacomo Agostini (122), Valentino Rossi (115) and Angel Nieto (90) are ahead.
Is Marquez slowing down? Hardly — if anything, he’s barely scratching the surface, having celebrated defeating rookie Fabio Quartararo in Misano like he had won his first ever race.
Looking to Aragon, near where the championship leader was born in Cervera, Marquez just wants to sink his teeth into another race weekend, regardless of whether it’s his first or 200th.
“After a fantastic win in Misano I am excited to race again, especially in Aragon where I really feel like I am at home as it is so close to Cervera,” he said.
“It’s where the most people from my hometown come to watch and always the fans help to give me something extra.
“We have a good lead in the championship but it doesn’t change how we approach the weekend, we keep pushing and trying to achieve our maximum.
Magnussen already had a contract in place with Haas, but the team’s decision to retain Grosjean is perhaps the most significant shock, considering the American outfit recently held talks with Hulkenberg.
Kubica’s departure keeps Hulkenberg’s F1 hopes alive, but the team is struggling and may opt for youth via current reserve driver Nicholas Latifi.
Speaking in Singapore, Hulkenberg admitted “things changed for whatever reason” in the summer break and admitted his 2020 plans are now out of his hands, despite his head “very much here still” in F1.
“There are decisions I can’t have full influence over and I can’t steer,” the German said.
“I’m still here and I think there’s still hope — and there are still options.”
Three Red Bull seats — one at the senior team, and both at Toro Rosso — are yet to be filled foe 2020, although it’d be a monstrous shock should any of Alex Albon, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly miss out altogether.
Kimi Raikkonen’s 2020 Alfa Romeo teammate is also yet to be confirmed, although current driver Antonio Giovinazzi is expected to cling onto his drive.
While Williams could go with Latifi, Hulkenberg has ties to the squad, having made his debut with the team in 2010.
Hulkenberg also drove for Alfa Romeo when it was under its previous Sauber guise, and it currently presents a more competitive option than Williams.
Hulkenberg would be an asset to any team — he is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid with 170 starts and 91 points finishes.
Sadly, his agonising wait for a maiden F1 podium continues, and should he fail to secure a 2020 drive, his wait will drag on.
However, the 32-year-old won’t sell himself short just to keep himself on the grid.
“For me, it needs to be a good deal, a good seat, with a good prospective as well,” he said.
“I don’t want to just stay desperately in Formula 1. That’s not my style, that’s not what I’m looking for. After 10 years in Formula 1 that’s not what I’m after.”