Michael Schumacher's condition is unchanged after the seven-time F1 champion spent a fourth night in hospital battling against head injuries sustained in a skiing accident in France.

Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm revealed on Wednesday that the 44-year-old was now in 'critical but stable condition' in hospital in Grenoble, where he has been treated following the incident on Sunday in Meribel.

The German has been placed in an induced coma by medical teams seeking to help improve his condition, and has his family as his bedside.

There has been widespread support for Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, with three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda saying he was praying for the recovery of the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver.

Lauda himself was lucky to survive an accident of his own, albeit on track, after being left with severe burns following his crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

"I pray to God that it will all end well, but sadly it doesn't seem that way at the moment," he was quoted by the Daily Mirror. "I believe there is someone up there trying to help in this situation. He decides things we cannot understand."

Further updates on Schumacher from either the University Hospital of Grenoble or from his own team are now only expected when there has been change in his condition.

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