In critical condition: Formula one star Michael Schumacher, pictured in 2010. Photo: Reuters

Formula one fans are gathering outside the French hospital where motor racing legend Michael Schumacher is in a critical condition after suffering a brain haemorrhage in a skiing accident.

French television station BFMTV and local paper Le Dauphine Libere reported on Sunday, local time, that the condition of the record seven-time formula one champion had deteriorated from serious to critical.

Grenoble University Hospital said the German former champion had suffered a ''severe head injury with coma'', and had undergone neurosurgery, Le Dauphine Libere reported.


Accident: Schumacher skiing in 2006. Photo: AP

The hospital's director of care, Jean-Marc Grenier, said Schumacher was admitted in a coma at 12.40pm.

''He suffered [on] his arrival a severe head injury with coma, which required neurosurgical intervention immediately,'' Mr Grenier said. ''He remains in a critical situation.''

BFMTV said it had been informed by a medical source that Schumacher suffered a brain haemorrhage when he fell and struck his head on a rock.

Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, said he sustained head injuries from the accident in the French skiing resort of Meribel.

''We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition,'' Ms Kehm said.

''He wore a helmet and was not alone.''

The resort said Schumacher's 14-year-old son was skiing with his father when the accident happened.

Schumacher, who reportedly owns property at the resort, was skiing off-piste with others.

Earlier, the French Mountain Gendarmerie said Schumacher, 44, was wearing a helmet when he had a hard fall at the Meribel resort and that he sustained a ''relatively serious'' head injury. At the time, the gendarmerie said his life was not in danger.

But when Schumacher then fell into coma, doctors realised the damage was worse than initially feared.

Two mountain police officers who gave first aid to Schumacher said he was suffering ''severe cranial trauma'' when they got to him and a helicopter was brought in to evacuate him within 10 minutes.

The resort said Schumacher was conscious when rescuers arrived.

He was initially taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Grenoble for a fuller examination and a battery of tests.

Those tests were still ongoing, the resort said, adding that orthopedic and renowned Parisian neurologist Gerard Saillant had travelled from Paris to the Grenoble hospital in a police car to examine Schumacher.