Grenoble, France (4E Sports) – Legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher is in critical condition at the University Hospital Center of Grenoble after sustaining severe head trauma during a skiing accident in the French Alps Monday.
Hospital officials said Schumacher was in a coma when he arrived at the hospital and immediately underwent brain surgery. He is now in a medically induced coma.
Doctors who are treating Schumacher said that it was too early to say what the driver’s prognosis might be.
The 44-year-old German, who retired from racing for the second time in 2012, fell and hit his head on a rock Sunday, according to an official of the Meribel resort where Schumacher was skiing.
Resort director Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte said the accident happened while Schumacher was off-piste (on unmarked slopes) Sunday morning in the mountains between Georges Bauduis Piste and La Biche Piste.
Known to be a good skier, Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he hit his head, Gernignon-Lecomte said. Rescuers reached him minutes later and airlifted him to a nearby hospital.
Doctors at the Grenoble hospital said that without the helmet’s protection, Schumacher wouldn’t have made it to the operating table.
Gernignon-Lecomte said the cause of the accident, which is being investigated by police, remains unclear.
Schumacher’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said the racing superstar “was not alone” when he fell but clarified that nobody else was involved.
Schumacher bagged a record seven world titles in his spectacular Formula 1 career, owning nearly every scoring record in the book by a considerable margin. He won five world championships in a row between 2000 and 2004.
Schumacher has a wife, Corinna, and two children, Gina-Maria and Mick. His brother Ralf was also a Formula 1 driver.