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F1: Michael Schumacher in ''hour by hour'' fight for life

Adapted from GMM

Michael Schumacher continues to fight for his life "hour by hour" after a high speed skiing crash.

The day after the German's helmeted head struck a rock whilst he was skiing with his son in the French alps, grave-faced doctors at a hospital in Grenoble delivered an update to massed ranks of mainstream reporters.

"For the moment we cannot say what Michael Schumacher's future is. We can say that his condition is life-threatening," one doctor admitted in French.

The doctors revealed that an initial operation relieved the effects of brain bleeding, but "sadly" they also noticed "various bilateral lesions".

"I did tell you there were a number of serious lesions, but I am not going to tell you any details," Professor Stephan Chabardes said. "The impact was on the right side - he fell on his side. At the time of the accident he was agitated, but not responding to questions. He did not have a normal neurological reaction."

Another doctor said the former Mercedes and Ferrari driver had obviously crashed at high speed, and that if he had not been wearing a helmet "he definitely would not have got to here".

"We believe that taking into consideration the very violent shock, his helmet did protect him of course. Somebody having this kind of accident without the helmet would not have got to here", said Professor Jean-Francois Payen from the Grenoble hospital.

They said they knew Schumacher was initially conscious after the fall, but did not respond normally, and he had fallen into coma by the time he arrived at hospital.

Due to the brain injuries, the seven time world champion's body temperature is now being kept artificially low, and he is under a general anaesthetic.

"He is in a critical state in terms of cerebral resuscitation," said a doctor. "We are working hour by hour."