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Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel 'shocked' at Schumacher accident

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The reigning Formula 1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, voiced his support of countryman and fellow champion Michael Schumacher on hearing of the elder's skiing accident on Sunday, December 29. According to "The Guardian" reporting from bild.de, the younger German racer said that he was "shocked" at the news.

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"I am shocked and I hope that he gets better as quickly as possible," said Mr. Vettel. "I wish his family much strength."

With four world championships racing for Red Bull behind him, Sebastian Vettel at 26 has already achieved over half of the seven victories that his mentor mastered by the time he was 35. Mr. Schumacher retired for a second time from racing at the end of 2012 after attempting a comeback by driving for Mercedes. His championships had been won for Benetton and Ferrari in the 90s and 2000s.

The young Vettel is said to have looked up to his German counterpart and met him when he was carting. One early photograph shows the blonde-haired boy near a large trophy with Schumacher standing by.

Vettel's ruthlessness on the track in recent seasons has been compared to Schumacher's style at times; however, it is perhaps too early to tell where Vettel's signature driving style will settle, since he is still so early in his Formula 1 career.

Michael Schumacher fell while skiing with his family at the Meribel resort in the French Alps on Sunday. He fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock. Though he wore a protective helmet while participating in the sport, just as he did while racing, doctors said he must have been skiing at a high rate of speed such that the blow could not be entirely shielded by the helmet. Had he not been wearing it, they said, he would not have survived.

Mr. Schumacher remains in critical condition at a university hospital in Grenoble, France.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is writing a book about racing and racers.

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