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Michael Schumacher, one of the greatest race car drivers the world has ever seen, is now in a coma and fighting for his life after a ski accident in the French Alps on Sunday. Doctors say the 44-year-old, seven-time Formula 1 world champion is in critical condition and is in a medically-induced coma following his fall. "We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher," Grenoble University Hospital Center's chief anesthesiologist Jean-Francois Payen, told reporters on Monday. "We are working hour by hour," he added. 

Shumacher, according to reports, was skiing with his son Sunday morning in the French Alps at a resort called Meribel. He fell and hit the right side of his head on a stone, and he suffered serious brain injury. However, doctors stressed that the only reason that we're having a conversation about Schumacher's prognosis and not prepping funeral plans, is because he was wearing a helmet. "He wouldn't be here now [if he hadn't been wearing a helmet]," Payen said. 

Doctors have had to perform surgery on Schumacher's brain to alleviate pressure in his skull, Payen told the BBC. While they aren't commenting definitively on Schumacher's prognosis there is some good news here. "The medical team said that the driver's relative youth and the fact that he was operated on without delay count in his favour," the BBC reports. 

Schumacher first retired from racing in 2006, in possession of most of Formula One's biggest records, including most wins, most pole positions, fastest laps, consecutive top-three finishes, and most championship seasons, including five in a row from 2000-2004. He briefly unretired in 2010, before hanging it up for good last year. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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