F1’s Schumacher ‘Critical’ After Skiing Accident

Seven-time Formula One champion underwent emergency brain surgery after hitting his head on a rock in the French Alps

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Updated: 06:30 EST 12/30/2013

Doctors treating Formula One legend Michael Schumacher said he is in critical condition at a hospital following a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday.

The medical team told journalists at a news conference on Monday that it was “too soon” to discuss Schumacher’s future, and they were only focusing on his current condition. Jean-Francois Payen, the chief anaesthesiologist, said Schumacher was still in a medically-induced coma.

The retired racing driver underwent emergency brain surgery after arriving at the medical facility in a coma. An icon for Italian motor-sport giant Ferrari, he apparently hit his head on a rock while skiing off-piste at the resort of Méribel with his 14-year-old son.

Schumacher is an experienced skier and was reportedly wearing a helmet at the time of his accident. “Someone who had suffered this accident without a helmet would not have made it this far,” said Payen. The 44-year-old German won seven championships and is considered the sport’s most successful ever driver.

Felipe Massa, Schumacher’s former Ferrari teammate, posted on Instagram: “I am praying for you my brother!! I hope you have a quick recovery!! God bless you Michael.”