Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004

Suspect in Schumacher case ‘found dead in cell’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004In the round-up: A man suspected of stealing medical files relating to Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident at the end of last year has been found head in his jail cell in Switzerland.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Suspect in Schumacher records probe found dead (Associated Press)

“The man, whose name wasn’t released, was found hanged in a Zurich police jail on Wednesday morning as officers were handing out breakfast, prosecutors said in a statement.”

Mercedes designer Aldo Costa on why his old team Ferrari is struggling (James Allen on F1)

“We were told that [building a new wind tunnel wasn’t necessary to remain competitive] and that there was no need. In Ferrari all the decisions, on strategy and people, have always been taken by the president, Montezenolo.”

Monisha Kaltenborn Q&A: Sauber slump temporary (F1)

“Last season… we took a decision to continue on that year’s car, knowing full well that this would mean taking a considerable risk on the new 2014 car, and the development of that car in light of the massive changes which were coming up. We took that decision and it turned out to be the right decision for last season, but we didn’t expect that we would be facing as many issues as we are now.”

Hulkenberg: F1 now easier for rookies (Autosport)

“I remember when I came in, my first year as a rookie was a bit tougher. I don’t know if they’re just that much better or if things have become easier.”

MP4-29 a ‘laboratory’ for next year (ESPN)

“Most of the upgrades from this car will be carried over to next year’s car so that’s why we are using this car as a laboratory for next year.”


Comment of the day

Paul gives his verdict on the field based on yesterday’s team mates analysis:

Bottas and Ricciardo will be jostling for the title in years to come; it would/could have been this year had Mercedes had not been so dominant.

Button deserves one more year with McLaren, although I really don’t think Magnussen has done quite enough for McLaren to gamble on another rookie. McLaren needs a real performer alongside Button to go for the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean deserves more. The Red Bull and Mercedes lads are just cushty where they are at the moment. Let’s see the back of Sutil and Maldonado.

Kvyat has adapted well and should be granted another year, Vergne on the other hand, I think this may be one season too many for him, wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay or go.

I think Kobayashi deserves a midfield seat yet again to display his overtaking prowess.
Paul (@Frankjaeger)

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On this day in F1

On this day 60 years ago Stirling Moss won the non-championship Oulton Park Gold Cup driving a Maserati 250F.

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  • 66 comments on “Suspect in Schumacher case ‘found dead in cell’”

    1. So did I miss something? Suspect in “Schumacher case”?? I would read the article if I could, that link just takes you to a map of the USA for news.

      1. His medical records were stolen and put up for sale on the internet – I believe they traced it to the man in question who worked for the company that airlifted Schumacher to hospital?

        1. so why was he in jail in the first place? was he convicted THAT quickly??? for allegedly stealing the files?

          1. When you arrest someone, you put them in a cell. He hadn’t been convicted of the crime – he was arrested on Tuesday and found dead the next day.

            1. wow something serious suspicious going on here for him to hang himself after a conviction

            2. “wow something serious suspicious going on here for him to hang himself after a conviction”

              No, he wasn’t convicted. Being arrested dosn’t mean you are guilty of something, it means you are being ‘ceased’ while they investigate the crime. He hung himself after he was arrested, not convicted. You are convicted after trial, when a judge/jury thinks you did the crime.

            3. I meant ‘seized’ of course, not ceased hah, that confuses matters further!

      2. @nick-uk @optimaximal They must have changed the link. The story @maroonjack‘s posted covers it.

    2. Bernie! What have you done!

    3. I don’t know how I feel about the news. One could argue the invasion of his privacy was (rather drastically) avenged, but equally he was only a suspect – with no conclusive proof of guilt.

      And even if guilty, the reporter could have been commissioned to do so by a superior with the incentive of a handsome payout, which could be classed as blackmail.

      Either way, a suicide is always tragic, and respect should be paid where its due.

      1. You’re quite right, this is just sad all around.

      2. Bradley Cornish
        7th August 2014, 0:46

        I don’t think you quite understand the concept of blackmail. Offering a reward for committing a crime is purely a payout.
        Blackmail would be threatening him with a reason to do so. For example, threatening to fire him, withhold pay and discredit him would be blackmail. Committing a crime for a payout us done so due to greed. Committing a crime under blackmail is done so due to fear

        1. It could be classed as blackmail, we just don’t know the details. I was hypothesising.

      3. It has not been ruled it a suicide. Just saying.

      4. @vettel1 – Max, it’s difficult to fathom why someone would enter into such a scheme knowing that it would eventually become obvious what happened since so few people had any access. Greed, I suppose is the answer, but now someone has paid the ultimate price. I would agree that those willing to pay for such information is also culpable at some point.

        Sad too that mega news corps think we as consumers of news are so desperate for such dubious news. I for one can do without that sort of “journalism”.

        1. There are more options besides greed. The man might have been in a dire financial situation for instance.

          1. @sharoncom – That certainly is a valid point. Life circumstances have put me in a situation where I was desperate to provide for my family while a family member was going through what turned out to be terminal health problems. Many thoughts and questionable solutions can go through ones mind when things get rough. Not because I’m such a great and moral person did I not resort to illegal options. Rather, logic told me it would just make things worse than they already were. It isn’t my wish to judge where this person was coming from. Everybody is going through something.

        2. @Bullmello – Exactly. There is a limit to the sort of ‘news’ that should be in the public domain and it is very sad to see if has come to the point where a critically ill person’s medical records are stolen just for the titillation of the general public. Had they been published in any form, this would have been gutter journalism at its worst.

          Having said that, it seems very sad that the accused person has been found dead seemingly by their own hand. Just a sad and sorry affair all around.

      5. @vettel1 – Who said suicide? Or did I miss the confirmation he was alone in the cell? Very sketchy news report gives NO details. What if some fellow crooks didn’t take well to hearing what he was accused of?

        More details as they emerge on this one please.

        1. Maybe they can pay a guard to leak the details

      6. True, it hasn’t been confirmed as a suicide. Does anyone know whether he was in solitary confinement or not?

    4. Dear Mclaren, wasnt last year’s car a laboratory for this year’s car? Signed, not a fan.

      1. Last year’s cars have little to do with this year’s cars. It’s a whole new chapter.

        1. They argued that car would help avoid pitfalls when designing a whole new car.

    5. Agree whole heartedly with COTD.

      I quite like the sound of Kobayashi driving a McLaren-Honda.

      1. That does sound good, but in place of who?

        And I don’t understand what @frankjaeger meant about what he said about Sutil and Maldonado. Does he want them gone or up the front of the field in a championship winning car?

        1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
          7th August 2014, 1:25

          In place of either Button or Magnussen would be good. I would say instead of Button though.

        2. Paul (@frankjaeger)
          7th August 2014, 1:37

          @mattypf1 I’d like to see Mal & SUT go to make room for more talented rookies. I don’t like the whole idea of pay drivers, nor do I like driver’s who consistently underperform.

          Magnussen? Although I have taken a liking to him, he hasn’t quite delivered a really spectacular performance to justify his seat; along with McLaren seemingly halting progress on this years car, a sterling performance may be hard to deliver.

          @crackers Kamui at McLaren-Honda would be brilliant, although I fear it’s just wishful thinking. McLaren are dying for that WDC/WCC and although I wouldn’t completely rule Kamui out of that, I think they need to opt for a safer, performance-proven pair of hands

          1. Mclaren must really want to win the WCC, last one was in 98, and last WDC by a tiny margin in 2008. I mean, it has been 16 years since the last WCC, it’s too long for a team like Mclaren.

            1. and yet, they constantly trash ferrari for not finishing lower than… 4th in the WDC, and no lower thand fourth since 81…

          2. @frankjaeger And what about Hulkenberg and Pérez? you didn’t mention them in the COTD.
            Personally I’m a bit disappointed that Pérez isn’t giving Nico a harder time, but both definitely deserve a seat next season, and who knows maybe in the second part of the year it will be Sergio scoring points in every race.

      2. I think Kobayashi is too wishful thinking. After this year, I think he’ll be gone; no one cared about him when he was getting podiums in Sauber, I dont think anyone will bat an eye after he paydrives for Caterham (and probably finishes behind Ericsson). Mclaren have Vandoorne in Gp2, Magnussen is still a rookie, a handful more talented drivers in the grid, and Button is still kicking. Besides, Kobayashi is/was a Toyota guy, right? That might play against him.

        1. Podium. Singular.

      3. I was inagreement until the Kobay comment. That is just sooooo unwarranted on a variety of levels – too many younger guys of merit deserving chances, Kobay’s own failings at every team, one Perez/Maldonado/Grosjean 2013 is enough for any grid, etc

      4. I disagree with the Magnussen bit.

        The guy has actually shown amazing speed, and has not been too far off matching him. He has shown speed and great potential.

        Remembering it is still only his first year so there are much greater things to come from him, and yes, he has made rookie errors, but he is a rookie, so that’s okay.

      5. @crackers

        I quite like the sound of Kobayashi driving a McLaren-Honda.

        Given that at Sauber Kobayashi was beaten by Perez, who McLaren fired last year, I think it’s a safe bet that won’t happen, unless Honda suddenly become desperate for a Japanese driver.

    6. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      7th August 2014, 1:45

      As a McLaren fan, i’m getting far too disillusioned with their current, and recent performance. Talk about a blip, they haven’t mounted a valid challenge for WDC/WCC, or even 2nd or 3rd place, for the past 2 years.

      I give them every blessing that they can mount a formidable challenge next year. It really boggles me sometimes to think what is really going wrong in Woking.

      1. Bringing Ron back and blasting Whitmarsh was never the answer… Luca and Ron, the more things change the more they stay the same.

    7. I don’t really get why McLaren’s recent struggles are causing such hysteria, Not as if its there 1st time McLaren have gone through a difficult spell & it won’t be the last either.
      Contrary to what some people seem to believe McLaren have not always been fighting towards the front each year & have gone a couple years without a win before (94-96 for instance).

      Last year they went the wrong way with car design, They expected it to work but ultimately it didn’t. This happens from time to time with every team.

      And do not forget that they have lost some key people the past few years & that will take time to rebuild, Those expecting an immediate turn around (Especially when Ron was brought back) were/are expecting far too much.

      Im not even really expecting them to be at the front regularly in 2015 because the new Honda power unit will need some development. Its very rare for a manufacturer to jump in with a new engine thats a year or more behind the competition in terms of understanding/development & for them to be competitive immediately.

      1. I think the main reason their fans are upset is because the team themselves are acting like nothing is structurally wrong.

        I’ve never been a McLaren fan (being a Ferrari fan will do that to you) but since 1996 they’ve always bounced back a lot faster than they have in the past 2 years. Though McLaren went very wrong with the MP4/18, they managed to compete for the championship with a car based on 2002’s failure. McLaren had a much more comfortable comeback in 2009 than Ferrari as well.

        However, during a season like 2002 or 2004, they’d not pretend all was going to be well in a few races/next season. Heck, they handled their 2005 saga with Mercedes engines blowing up every other minute better than Red Bull is currently dealing with Renault’s engines being underpowered.

        McLaren have, since 2012, taken a page from Ferrari and Mercedes’ ‘it’ll be better next race/season/rule change, promise!’ PR tactics. Ferrari is still pounding out their messages of hope while nothing changes, while Merc hasn’t had a reason to do so this season, but just how many times did we hear Brawn and/or Schumacher say ‘next race should suit us better’ between 2010 and 2012?

        As a Ferrari (and Schumacher) fan, I could not be more annoyed by these messages. I’d rather hear ‘we don’t know what’s wrong, we don’t know how long it’s going to take’ than ‘it’ll be better at Canada/Germany/Belgium/Japan/next season’, which McLaren seems to be doing now as well.

        Excuses and promises flatter no F1 team, and McLaren is no exception.

        1. These companies have hundreds of millions invested in them by various shareholders. For someone in the team to shrug their shoulders and say ‘we can’t fathom it…’ will just cause that money to evaporate overnight.

      2. 94-96 they were without a win but 98-99 saw Mika Hakkinen (forgive me if I spelt his name wrong) win the WDC in both of those years. Who knows, maybe Magnussen or Kobayashi (if they take him in) or Vandoorne (if they dont want KK) or maybe even Mitch Evans (one driver I think will win a WDC in the future and who I want to see in a F1 car now) but who knows maybe (and I dont want this to happen) they’ll run out of sponsors and money and they’ll fold like HRT. But tyen again, this is McLaren I’m talking about here

        1. McLaren cannot be compared to HRT in any way. They’ll make it back to the top sooner or later.

          1. that worked well for lotus in the early 90’s, right?

    8. That’s a VERY good insight Aldo Costa gives us about Ferrari, also something interesting about Alonso:

      “I consider Fernando a true great when he is in the car, driving. Out of the car, I was never able to understand him; to me he is an indecipherable character, an enigma.”

      mmm so what does that actually mean? He doesn’t know how to communicate his ideas? He doesn’t get along with the mechanics and engineers? A bit of arrogance maybe?
      Either way it’s refreshing to see a different point of view from someone who actually worked with him everyone has flaws I guess, but no one can deny his talent.

      1. I think Fernando is an outstanding driver but I don’t think he is much of a help when developing the car. I heard it was Felipe who was always testing new parts on the car in past seasons.

        And I think Bottas is a bit overrated, he’s only marginally faster than Massa, who was far off Alonso’s pace. On COTD:

        Vergne on the other hand, I think this may be one season too many for him

        He’s doing better than his team mate at the moment. I seems unfair JEV might be without a drive next year, while we could see another Gutierrez/Sutil line-up at Sauber.

        1. I agree. I’d like to see JEV at Sauber, and off of the Red Bull gravy train.

      2. He doesn’t know how to communicate his ideas? He doesn’t get along with the mechanics and engineers? A bit of arrogance maybe?

        That is a looong strech of what Costa actually said. To find a person enigmatic, means you can not understand his purposes and he lives no room for interpretation, unless Alonso would have found Costa a close friend to sit and share his thoughts with him.
        It is completely different to what you suggest that Alonso does not communicate or is arrogant, it just tells that Alonso is not the kind of guy to openly discuss with anyone around him, only with the ones he shares trust.

    9. Couple of interesting ideas win Challenge 1 of Tata Communications’ F1 Innovation Connectivity Prize:

    10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th August 2014, 6:43

      What a tragedy – how long was he in jail for? This is very sad – Bernie gets to pay his way out of an offense and this man took his own life while being incarcerated. Yes he made a mistake but to pay so dearly for it is sad.

      1. Or is it Lesmo? Can’t really tell.

        1. Seems to be Parabolica.

      2. @artanonim It’s Parabolica, and it’s a very sad day. Absolute joke.

        1. The tarmac runoff at parabolica was done for the bikes at the request of FIM/Dorna after a meeting between them & the Monza owners in January:

          I read something not long ago in which it was pointed out that changes like this are not just done for F1 & are not always proposed by the FIA. Many different categories race on these circuits & the safety of each has to be considered with each series organizer/Governing body putting forward proposals to barriers/runoff’s etc… to make things better for there category.

          I’ve read many times in the past that the bike racers prefer tarmac runoff because if they come off there bike its much safer sliding across the tarmac scrubbing off speed than it is to hit gravel & which often results in them & bike tumbling about.

          1. @stefmeister And my knee-jerk reaction is quelled slightly.

      3. I get asphalt for safety, but that gravel trap was perfectly safe and a great decider or lap time.

        Really poor decision by the track..

        1. @npf1 It may have been safe for the cars but as @stefmeister points out this change was not done for the cars it was done for the bikes.

          When a rider falls off his bike, If he goes into a gravel trap both the rider & the bike nearly always start rolling & its when they start rolling through the gravel that riders can suffer injuries.

          As I have pointed out recently circuits are no longer just looking at F1, There looking at every thing that runs there.
          Tarmac is safer for the bikes, Its better for GT/Touring cars which usually get stuck & are difficult to get out of gravel traps, There is also the junior open wheel categories which can be more prone to flipping in gravel traps (Formula ford especially).
          If we look at Montreal which recently added a lot of tarmac runoff areas, That was done for Nascar because again those cars get stuck in gravel easily & are very hard to pull out which results in more caution/pace car periods. Nascar also had gravel traps replaced with tarmac at Mosport, Road America & Watkins Glen.

          F1 fans on F1 sites tend to look at everything purely from the point of view of F1, But the circuit owners need to look at things from the perspective of everything that races on there circuit.
          Tarmac at Parabollica was perhaps unnecisary for F1 but the change has not been made for F1 so you need to look at it from the perspective of who requested the change & not just from the perspective of F1.

    11. That Montezenolo guy really is a crook.

    12. What do you expect from a former employee who was sacked by Ferrari to say about his president and the man who wanted his head (Alonso) ?

    13. on another note. Globo, the Brazilian F1 broadcaster will not cover F1 in 2015. Instead, they will transfer it to their paid channel SporTV.
      Never saw that coming. Looks like F1 is really going down

      1. You’re joking? Now we have to put up with that guy who is always praising the likes of Maldonado and Cecoto?

      2. Some news outlets are reporting that Globo will still air F1 as long as they have enough sponsorship for it. The lack of brazilian drivers doing something noteworthy is really hurting the ratings though.
        In German GP they only broadcasted the Q3 on the saturday, still the ratings are wnough for them to be the #1 channel at the timeslot.

    14. McLaren should just admit that they have went wrong somewhere down the line and change the way it operates. It seems for a while now they have just used the next year excuse and a team with a budget that large and resources that deep shouldn’t be using excuses to cover up fundamental mistakes. Making Jenson their number one driver seems to be a large part of the problems meanwhile, someone who cannot qualify high up the grid in a good car and someone who rarely looks like he is going to put a good run together (excluding the Brawn fluke year) This added with the fact they couldn’t/wouldn’t sign Lewis on for a year means that they don’t have a clear lead driver and someone who can drag the car around quickly (Hence the Alonso rumours)

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