Former F1 champion Michael Schumacher critically injured while skiing

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is in critical condition after he suffered a head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps Sunday.

The hospital where he is being treated, The French Mountain Gendarmerie, said the 44-year-old arrived in a coma and underwent brain surgery after sustaining a serious head trauma.

The hospital said Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he had a hard fall at the Meribel resort. In a statement, the resort said Schumacher was conscious when rescuers arrived on the scene.

Additionally, orthopedic and trauma surgeon Gerard Saillant had traveled from Paris to the Grenoble hospital to examine Schumacher. German news agency dpa said it was Saillant who operated on Schumacher when he broke his leg during a crash at the Silverstone race course in 1999.

In an email to The Associated Press, Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm said the retired driver was on a private skiing trip and "fell on his head."

"We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition. He wore a helmet and was not alone," Kehm said. Schumacher's 14-year-old son was skiing with his father when the accident happened, the resort said.

In addition to the crash at Silverstone, Schumacher was 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 retired 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report