(Reuters) - Support has been pouring in for Michael Schumacher after the retired seven-times Formula One world champion suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps resort of Meribel on Sunday.
A spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel told a briefing: "We hope that he overcomes his injuries and can recover."
F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel: "I am shocked and I hope that he will get better as quickly as possible. I now wish his family a lot of strength."
Schumacher's former Ferrari team: "Everyone at Ferrari has been in a state of anxiety since hearing about Michael Schumacher's accident."
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and F1 team: "We have been shocked to learn that he is in a critical condition and are closely monitoring the latest medical bulletins from Grenoble. We all know the depth of Michael's fighting spirit and send him all our strength and support in this latest battle."
NBA star and compatriot Dirk Nowitzki on Twitter: "My thoughts are with Schumi."
Former Benetton team mate Martin Brundle told Sky TV: "When I read that Michael had received a blow to the right side of his head I couldn't help but think of Ayrton (Senna), and pondered why these things so often happen to the truly great. I sincerely hope and expect of course that this incident has a much happier ending, and I feel sure that his competitive determination and fitness will give him the best chance."
Felipe Massa, former Ferrari team mate, on Twitter: "I'm praying for God to protect you, brother!"
Former F1 driver David Coulthard told the BBC: "As I know Michael from the racetrack, there is no question in my mind that he has the physical ability to take on this challenge, the greatest challenge of his life."
Double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso on Twitter: "Get well soon Michael! Hope to hear some positive news very soon! #strongman"
Quadruple Indy Car champion Dario Franchitti on Twitter: "My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher and his family. If anyone can pull through this it's him."
Former Alpine skiing world champion Luc Alphand: "I'm stunned. Skiing, for me and a lot of people, is a leisure before anything else. He might have hit a rock with his feet and you don't need to go fast to hurt yourself."
2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button: "My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time. Michael more than anyone has the strength to pull through this."
Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan: "Forget the cricket... everyone's thoughts should be with Michael Schumacher."
(Compiled by Julien Pretot; Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin and Amlan Chakraborty, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar)