Former F1 champ Schumacher suffers head injuries in skiing accident

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher sustained a head injury Sunday in a skiing accident in the French Alps, French authorities and his manager said.

The French Mountain Gendarmerie said Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he had a hard fall at the Meribel resort and that he sustained a "relatively serious'' head injury.

He was initially taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a hospital in the city of Grenoble.

The gendarmerie said his life was not in danger.

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. She added that no one else was involved in the accident.

Schumacher was hurt seriously once before, 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.

There was some confusion as to exactly where Schumacher was when he fell.

The Gendarmerie said he was at the junction of two trails, but Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte, the ski resort's director, said on French television that he was skiing off-piste.

Gernigon-Lecomte said Schumacher was "rattled but conscious'' when he was taken off the slopes by a helicopter medevac.

Gernigon-Lecomte did not immediately return calls requesting comment.

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.


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