Former F1 Champ Suffers 'Severe Brain Trauma' in Ski Crash

Michael Schumacher in critical condition at French hospital

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 29, 2013 4:32 PM CST

(Newser) – Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was hospitalized with a head injury today after a skiing accident in the French Alps, French authorities and his manager said. The French Mountain Gendarmerie said Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he had a hard fall at the Meribel resort and initially described his injury as "relatively serious." But hospital officials later said he was in critical condition, arrived in a coma, required immediate brain surgery, and had a "severe head trauma" from hitting his head on a rock, CNN reports.

The retired racer is no stranger to injuries. He broke his leg during a crash at the Silverstone race course in 1999. He was also hurt seriously in a motorcycling accident in February 2009 in Spain when he suffered neck and spine injuries. He recovered sufficiently from those injuries to make a comeback in F1. Schumacher left racing in 2006 after winning five straight titles with Ferrari following two earlier ones with Benetton. He came back to the sport in 2010 and drove for three seasons for Mercedes without much success before retiring again last year.

In this Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 file photo, Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher of Germany, looks on ahead the Belgium Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium.
In this Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 file photo, Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher of Germany, looks on ahead the Belgium Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium.   (Luca Bruno)
In this Friday, Jan. 13, 2006 file photo, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher of Germany speeds down a course in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
In this Friday, Jan. 13, 2006 file photo, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher of Germany speeds down a course in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.   (Luca Bruno)
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