F1 legend Michael Schumacher 'critical' and in a coma after skiing accident
Seven-time Champion suffered 'severe head trauma' in French Alps
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 30/12/13 10:42am
Michael Schumacher: Seriously injured while skiing in French Alps
Former F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher is in a 'critical' condition and has been placed in a coma following a skiing accident on Sunday morning.
Although initial reports stated that Schumacher's injuries were not life threatening, the Grenoble hospital treating Schumacher reported at 10pm on Sunday night that the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's condition had worsened and is now regarded as 'critical'.
A statement from the University Hospital of Grenoble, distributed by Schumacher's management company on Sunday night, confirmed the 44-year-old was in a coma.
"Mr Schumacher was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble at 12:40pm, following a skiing accident which occurred in Meribel in the late morning," the statement said.
"He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention. He remains in a critical situation."
Carole Bouchard of L'Equipe newspaper told Sky Sports News: "It seems like his condition has deteriorated in the evening, because they are now saying he is in a coma because of maybe a brain hemorrhage so his condition is really critical and his life is in jeopardy.
"Professor Saillant who is a close personal friend of his and very well-known specialist and surgeon, attended to him. His family is there too, but people are getting more and more worried.
"They are still investigating exactly what happened as it is still not clear. The response was quick - six minutes, maybe ten at most - before they airlifted him to the nearest hospital. Then when it became clear he was deteriorating they moved him again."
Sandra Baumgartner of Sky Deutschland told Sky Sports News: "Everyone is looking to France and looking to the news. People are shocked. Because ok, he was in an accident, in hospital, but in the early afternoon it was not that serious. Now it's about his life. People are really, really shocked. Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed."
The accident happened while the 44-year-old was skiing in the French resort of Meribel in the popular Three Valleys area.
He was wearing a helmet when he hit his head on a rock.
Schumacher's spokeswoman confirmed: "Michael fell on his head when he was on a private skiing trip in the French Alps.
"He was taken to hospital and is receiving professional medical attention. We ask for understanding that we cannot give out continuous information about his health.
"He was wearing a helmet and was not alone. No one else was involved in the fall."
As news of Schumacher's condition became apparant on Sunday night, Sky F1 commentator David Croft tweeted: "Seen Michael Schumacher win plenty of great battles in his career this, the most important of all. Like all in F1, praying he pulls through."
His colleague Martin Brundle tweeted: "Come on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it."
Schumacher owns a chalet in Meribel and is a keen skier.
The German driver retired from Formula 1 for a second time in December last year.
Schumacher is being treated at Grenoble Hospital