Michael Schumacher remains in a critical condition as doctors revealed he would not have survived his skiing accident had he not been wearing a helmet.

The seven-time Formula One champion is in an induced coma in intensive care at the University Hospital of Grenoble after hitting his head on a rock in a crash in the resort of Meribel in the French Alps.

The ‘Dent de Burgin’ peak in the ski resort of Meribel under which Michael Schumacher reportedly had the skiing accident. PIC/AFP

Doctors treating the 44-year-old German said at a press conference they could not speculate on his prognosis.

But they said without his helmet he would already be dead. They said: “We believe that taking into consideration the very violent shock, his helmet did protect him to a certain extent. Someone who would have had this accident without a helmet, he would certainly have not got to here.”

Doctors said the brain scan Schumacher underwent on his arrival at the hospital showed “a great number of lesions”.

The former racing driver is receiving treatment to reduce the pressure on the brain.

Doctors said: “The brain scan showed some intracranial haematoma, but also some cerebral contusions and edema. We operated urgently to try and eliminate the haematoma. After the operation we saw that we had been able to eliminate the haematoma, but also sadly the appearance of various bilateral lesions and so therefore he was taken to intensive care to try to help him.”

They added: “His condition is critical as far as cerebral care. All the recommended treatments have been introduced.”

They said he had only been operated on once and a second operation was at the moment not looking necessary.

Schumacher’s family — he has two children with his wife Corinna — are at his bedside.

The doctors insisted it was far too early to make predictions about his future health. “For the moment we are not able to express ourselves with regard to his future,” they said.

The doctors, who also described Schumacher’s condition as “extremely serious”, added: “We are not currently able to talk about after-effects. We are talking about treatment and we are working hour by hour.”