4:27 AM PT -- Hospital officials now say Schumacher is in critical condition and describe his injury as "severe head trauma.
Officials also say Schumacher was in a coma when he arrived to the hospital and required emergency brain surgery to save his life.
He is now surrounded by family and friends.
Michael Schumacher -- one of the greatest race car drivers of all time -- was hospitalized Sunday after suffering a major head injury while skiing in the French Alps, this according to his rep.
A rep for the Meribel resort, where the accident took place, says Schumacher fell and hit his head on a rock while out with his 14-year-old son.
The 44-year-old racer was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Schumacher never lost consciousness, according to local reports ... but he was rushed to a local hospital before being transferred to a bigger hospital for a more thorough examination.
The Meribel rep says, "[Schumacher] was shocked, a little rattled but conscious."
Schumacher -- considered the greatest racer alive -- won SEVEN Formula 1 world championships before retiring in 2012.
Race Legend Suffers Head Injury in Skiing Accident
12/29/2013 4:25 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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