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Michael Schumacher Suffers Injury While Skiing, Airlifted to Hospital

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 25:  Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP reacts in parc ferme after finishing his last F1 race following the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 25, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterDecember 29, 2013

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was injured in a skiing accident on Sunday.

As reported by Jennie Gow of BBC Radio 5 Live, Schumacher was airlifted to a hospital but was conscious, according to the resort director in Meribel, France:

#F1 Hearing from director of Meribel that although head injury "not thought to be very serious." MSC was wearing a helmet. Response rapid.

— Jennie Gow (@JennieGow) December 29, 2013

MSC airlifted to hospital in Moutiers. "He was shocked, a little shaken but conscious. It may be a head injury but it is not very serious. "

— Jennie Gow (@JennieGow) December 29, 2013

The Germanwho dominated F1 at the turn of the 21st centurywas skiing in Meribel, according to Europe1 in France, and the initial report (translated from French) wrote he had been "seriously injured."

However, subsequent news from Meribel indicated that the injury may be less severe than first feared.

BREAKING: Michael Schumacher retained consciousness and his injuries are 'not very serious', RMC radio reports. http://t.co/NSQX6IMxa2

— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) December 29, 2013

The director of the ski station Meribel stated that Schumacher was skiing off-piste, wearing a helmet, fell over and hit a rock.

— Tom Coast (@sardinetrawler) December 29, 2013

Jamie Fox, from British Ski and Snowboard, told BBC News that he understood Schumacher did not lose consciousness and was taken off the mountain within seven minutes following the accident.

A Reuters report gave updated details on Sunday evening with news that Schumacher has been transferred to a better-equipped medical unit in Grenoble.

The news agency reported that he had been placed under the supervision of brain and spine injury expert Professor Gerard Saillant, citing a source from FIA -- the world motorsports governing body. 

Schumacher, 44, retired from F1 for the second time at the end of 2012, after a three-year stint with Mercedes.

Before that, the German had been a double world champion with Benetton, and then won five championships in a row with Ferrari at the turn of the millennium.

His clinical and ruthless on-track style drew controversy and made him a divisive figure during his career, but he is hugely respected as one of the sport's great figures.  

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