Despite concern in some quarters that Michael Schumacher may be in a coma for the rest of his life (it’s been 18 days now, and counting), I remain optimistic that he will recover because of — wait for it — the experience of Gordon Lightfoot.
In September, 2002, Lightfoot was appearing in his hometown of Orillia when he suffered a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. He collapsed into unconsciousness and was in that condition when he was airlifted to McMaster Medical Centre in Hamilton.
He underwent a tracheotomy, four surgeries and was in a medically induced coma for six weeks. Six weeks! He was initially in critical condition, was upgraded to serious but guarded and eventually discharged to recover at home after three months in hospital.
As we all know, Gordie is alive and well today and living in midtown Toronto. More important, he's still strumming and singing his wonderful songs.
I know Schumacher’s situation doesn’t look good but all we can do is hope for the best. And until the die is cast for good, to remember Gordon Lightfoot.
Bernie Ecclestone will go on trial in Germany in April on charges he bribed German businessman Gerhard Gribkowsky eight years ago.
They can have the trial but the verdict is already in. Gribkowsky is in jail now for accepting the bribe so it’s very difficult to understand how Ecclestone expects to be found not guilty of paying it.
Ecclestone has resigned from the F1 board of directors, although he will remain in charge of the sport for the time being. But it’s over for him.
I sent out a Tweet earlier today, linking to a story that Ron Dennis has taken over — again — as group CEO of McLaren. I said this meant Fernando Alonso would not be returning to McLaren any time soon.
Alonso felt double-crossed by Dennis when he was hired away from Renault to be No. 1 at McLaren and then Dennis elevated Lewis Hamilton to a seat in the team and treated him like a No. 1. Alonso couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Martin Whitmarsh tried to get Alonso to leave Ferrari and return to McLaren for the 2014 season but Alonso (or his management group) held off, probably because McLaren co-owner Mansour Ojeh was in hospital for much of 2013, recovering from a double lung transplant, and Dennis was making moves in his absence. Once bitten, twice shy for Alonso.
As it’s turning out, Whitmarsh will lose his job as team principal, to be replaced — probably — by Ross Brawn. I suggest this will not be enough for Alonso to ever go near McLaren again and he might very well finish his career at Ferrari.
Here is why the IndyCar Series doesn’t get the publicity it craves.
On Tuesday, they had four recent winners of the Indy 500 — Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan — at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to promote the 2014 IndyCar season. They got some local coverage and a story or two on a couple of Internet racing sites.
But less than 400 kilometres away, the second Detroit auto show media preview day was in full swing. There were more than 5,000 accredited automotive journalists from around the world in attendance. Chevrolet presented a display of racing cars, including the very car that Tony Kanaan drove to victory in last year’s 500.
Why in the world didn’t they put those four guys on a plane and fly them up to Detroit where the potential for interviews and publicity was at least 1,000 times greater than what it was in Indianapolis?
Did nobody think of that?
You never heard of the guy till Stewart was hurt last year in that sprint car accident and was forced to take some time off to recover. During his absence, Haas hired Kurt Busch to be the fourth member of the team despite Stewart telling reporters earlier that there wasn't room for a fourth driver.
Now, Haas is telling the world that he's ready to enter the world of Formula One.
Apparently, the team would be headquartered at Stewart-Haas Racing's building in Charlotte, N.C.
Gee, where have I hear something like that before.
- NORRIS McDONALD