Michael Schumacher, a retired Formula One Driver, is in critical condition following a skiing accident this past weekend.

Michael Schumacher In Coma

Schumacher, 44, was placed into a medically-induced coma Monday after he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock while skiing with his son Mick, 14. The injury occurred on Sunday morning at Meribel Resort in the French Alps.

Schumacher’s helmet helped him from being immediately killed. “His helmet did of course protect him at least partly,” said Jean-Francois Payen, the head anesthetician at CHU hospital. “Someone who had suffered a similar accident without a helmet would not have made it [to the hospital].”

Schumacher was conscious while en route to the hospital, but his condition worsened quickly and he was taken in for brain surgery when scans revealed internal bleeding and contusions. “We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher,” said Payen. “He is in a critical state in terms of cerebral resuscitation. We are working hour by hour.”

Michael Schumacher Receives Support

Schumacher has received an outpouring of support from the racing community as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We hope that he overcomes his injuries and can recover,” Merkel’s spokesman said at a briefing.

Ferrari, Schumacher’s former team, expressed its concern as well. “Everyone at Ferrari has been in a state of anxiety since hearing about Michael Schumacher's accident,” the team said.

Indy Car champion Dario Franchitti, who is on crutches following a career-ending car crash in October, tweeted support as well.

Jenson Button, another Formula One champion, expressed his wishes for Schumacher’s recovery. “My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time. Michael more than anyone has the strength to pull through this."

Schumacher has 91 racing victories and seven Formula One Championships under his belt. He retired from 2007-2009, returning to work with Mercedes. He retired for good in 2012 after an unsuccessful comeback.

He lives in Switzerland with wife Corinna Betsch and children Gina-Marie and Mick.