Calcutta: As Michael Schumacher’s fans wait for some positive news from his hospital, his long-time friend Felipe Massa gave some ray of hope on Saturday, according to reports in Daily Mail and Irish Independent.
“I saw his mouth move,” said, Massa, who himself had undergone an agonising time in 2009, when in a freak accident he had fractured his skull.
According to the reports, Massa visited Schumacher at the Grenoble hospital, prior to this week’s second pre-season test in Bahrain.
He said he feels “very positive” about his friend’s condition. “He was sleeping, and I was very positive because he was normal. He looks normal, and he also gave some reactions with the mouth and everything. So it’s positive to look at him.
“I have no experience to say anything. I’m not a doctor. But when I saw him, for me, it looked very positive.”
It is almost eight weeks since Schumacher was placed in an induced coma following a skiing accident and is currently undergoing what has been described as a “waking-up process”.
Speaking to reporters at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, Massa said: “I always try to be optimistic. I saw him, I talked to him, I told him everything I did in Jerez (at the first test), about my car, the new team (Williams), everything. I told him to wake up many times... I’m positive. We need to believe.
“It’s always very difficult to say because I have zero experience about what the doctors say. But I saw him and was very happy to be together with him for a very long time, talking to him, trying to give the best energy and just help him.
“He’s a very strong man, a very great man and I really hope he can wake up, and I really hope he can enjoy his life again.”
Massa had suffered a skull fracture on July 25, 2009, during the qualifying race of the Hungarian GP, driving for Ferrari.
The Brazilian was knocked unconscious when a spring, which had become detached from the rear suspension of Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn, struck him on the head in one of the fastest sections of the Hungaroring.
Like Schumacher, he too was airlifted to a hospital — AEK hospital in Budapest — and underwent emergency surgery.
The spring had somehow penetrated the top of his visor and injured Massa above the left eye, perilously close to the cornea.
His condition was initially described as “life-threatening but stable.” However, Massa showed rapid improvement and was discharged from hospital the following week to return home to Brazil.
Interestingly, it was Schumacher, then Ferrari consultant and seven-time world champion, who was asked to take over Massa’s race seat during his recovery, but his comeback was prevented by neck injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident. Massa returned to the track in October 2009.
Schumacher’s wife Corinna has remained by his bedside from the day of the accident, maintaining audio contact with him in an attempt to bring him out of his unconsciousness. Massa tried the same during his visit.