Motorsport/Formula One - Schumacher remains 'critical' after ski accident

Motorsport/Formula One - Schumacher remains 'critical' after ski accident
In this file picture taken on 11 January, 2005, German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher skis in the winter resort of Madonna di Campiglio, in the Dolomites area, Northern Italy. AFP PHOTO / Press Ferrari (AFP Photo/STR)

- Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula One world champion,remained in a critical condition on Monday after suffering severe brain trauma in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

The German racing legend, who turns 45 on Friday, had been skiing off-piste with his 14-year-old son in the upmarket Meribel resort Sunday when he fell and hit his head on a rock.

He was "suffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival, which required an immediate neurosurgical operation", according to the hospital in the southeastern French city of Grenoble where he is being treated.

"He remains in a critical condition."

News of Schumacher's accident stunned the Formula One community and his former teammates joined thousands on Twitter in wishing him a speedy recovery.

"My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time.. Michael more than anyone has the strength to pull through this," tweeted British former world champion Jenson Button.

Schumacher's former teammate at Benetton, Martin Brundle, wrote on Twitter: "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."