The 44-year-old German "was suffering a
serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival"
Michael Schumacher, seven-time Formula 1 world champion, is in a "critical condition" after a skiing accident, says the French hospital at which he is being treated.
The 44-year-old German "was suffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival" the hospital in the south-east city of Grenoble said in a statement.
Schumacher's management confirmed his critical condition, reports said.
He was skiing off-piste with his son in the Alps when the accident occurred.
Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head against a rock, Meribel resort director Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte said earlier.
Early reports had said his condition was not life-threatening.
Mr Gernignon-Lecomte said Schumacher was conscious when he was attended to by two ski patrollers who requested helicopter evacuation to the nearby valley town of Moutiers.
Schumacher was skiing off-piste with his son
in the Alps when the accident occurred
He was subsequently moved to the bigger facility at Grenoble.
The German, who is due to turn 45 on 3 January, retired from F1 for a second time in 2012.
Professor Gerard Saillant, a close ally and friend of Schumacher, and his former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, are at the hospital.
Prof Saillant is an expert in brain and spine injury. He oversaw Schumacher's medical care when the German broke his leg in the 1999 British GP.
The hospital statement was signed by the facility's neurosurgeon, the professor in charge of its anaesthesia/revival unit, and the hospital's deputy director.