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Tuesday, July 13, 1999 Published at 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK


Schumacher: Brakes failed at 191mph

Schumacher is carried to an ambulance after Sunday's crash

Michael Schumacher's car was doing 67mph when he collided with a tyre wall and broke his leg during Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

He was doing 191mph when the brakes failed at Stowe corner.


Paul Newman: "Schumacher has made good progress"
F1 bosses and the Ferrari team released further details of the accident as Schumacher discharged from hospital after surgery.

Meanwhile Ferrari have announced that Finland's Mika Salo will drive the German's car while he recovers.


[ image: The Ferrari's front end was destroyed by the 67mph impact]
The Ferrari's front end was destroyed by the 67mph impact
Schumacher was flying to a private clinic in Switzerland after leaving from a side entrance at Northampton General Hospital.

The consultant who has treated him, Dr Bill Ribbans, told reporters the driver was in good spirits.

Surgeons have inserted a foot-long pin into The 30-year-old's leg but his life may have been saved by improved safety features, including thick padding around the driver's cockpit.

Dr Ribbans said severe blood loss had caused swelling to Schumacher's leg, and a certain amount of tissue damage, but physiotherapy had already begun to rectify this.

"If everything goes as we anticipate, he will make a full recovery," said the consultant.

Salo gets the call

That is likely to take two months, during which time Salo will drive the German's Ferrari.


[ image: Mika Salo: Named as Ferrari stand-in]
Mika Salo: Named as Ferrari stand-in
The 32-year-old Finn has driven in Formula One for Lotus, Tyrrell and Arrows, before scoring the only point yet won by the BAR team when he stood in for them this year.

On Tuesday he tested the Ferrari car in Italy.

Schumacher will miss at least four races - possibly six - of the remaining eight but is determined to return to the Ferrari cockpit before the season is out.

"I realise that I have absolutely no chance of the championship," said Schumacher.

"But I'm lucky to be alive. I'm thankful for the improvements made in the cars over the last few ."


Consultant Dr Bill Ribbans: Anticipating a full recovery
Ferrari have also confirmed what the driver suspected minutes after the injury - that brake failure was to blame.

"The accident was caused by a sudden loss of pressure of the rear brake circuit," the team said in a statement, adding that the component had been checked on Saturday evening.

"The data shows no problem either in the warm-up or indeed in the braking manoeuvres for the first half-lap of the race."

Gravel trap OK - FIA

Investigations will continue, but F1 bosses say the Stowe corner gravel trap did its job.


Dr Bill Ribbans: "He's extremely relieved"
Drivers criticised the feature, but a statement from the the governing FIA explained: "The gravel trap performed satisfactorily in a worst-case situation.

"Despite much comment there are no simple answers to the problem of slowing an out-of-control car. The measures are under constant review."

The black box from Schumacher's car has been downloaded and it shows that he was going at 191mph when he first braked.

His wheels locked at 127mph and he hit the tyre wall at around 67mph.



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