The retired seven-times Formula One racing champion, Michael Schumacher, injured his head in a fall while skiing in the French Alps on Sunday.
One of the greatest race car drivers was treated at the scene after falling while skiing off-piste with friends. Schumacher was taken to the local Moutiers hospital before being transferred by helicopter to Grenoble.
In a statement, Schumacher’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm declined to give specific information regarding the severity of the injury, saying: “Michael suffered a head injury in a private ski trip in the French Alps.”
“He was taken to hospital and is receiving professional medical care. We ask for understanding that we cannot give continuous information about his health. He was wearing a helmet and was not alone. For his fall, no other person was involved.”
Schumacher is a passionate and highly experienced skier. He has a piste named after him in the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio.
The head of the Méribel ski resort, where Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son, told Radio Monte Carlo that Schumacher was taken to hospital by helicopter after falling and striking his head on a rock at 11.07am local time.
“Emergency services intervened quickly, at 11:15am. He was airlifted to hospital at Moûtiers (about 15km) away. He was shocked, a bit shaken up but conscious. There’s maybe a concussion but it’s not very serious.”
As the Guardian reports, the former Formula 1 champion fell while off piste under la Dent de Burgin, located between the extremely difficult pistes of La Biche and Mauduit. The latter is named after the former French skiing champion Georges Mauduit.
However, according to the recent report of the local Dauphine Libere newspaper, the German’s life was in danger. “The state of health of the veteran driver has worsened and his condition is considered life-threatening, according to our information”, wrote the newspaper, considered to be one of the most respected papers in the Alps, with outstanding medical contacts.
In hour before, a surgeon specialising in brain and spinal injuries arrived at the hospital where Schumacher was being treated for a ‘very serious’ head injury. Gerard Saillant, one of the leading neurologists in Paris and a friend of the star, was accompanied by police as he was rushed to the hospital in eastern France, says the Daily Mail.
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa said on Instagram: “I am praying for you my brother!! I hope you have a quick recovery!! God bless you Michael.”
Heikki Kovalainen said on Twitter: “I heard Schumacher had a skiing accident, I hope it’s not too serious and he makes a full recovery soon! #legend.”
Schumacher is a married father of two who currently lives in Switzerland, according to his website. In his career he has 91 total victories and 155 podium finishes in 308 Grand Prix races. The 44-year-old Schumacher retired from F1 for the second time at the end of 2012, after a three-year stint with Mercedes. Before that, the German had been a double world champion with Benetton, and then won five championships in a row with Ferrari at the turn of the millennium.