The Grenoble medical team was being very cautious about Schumacher's prognosis. They are working to relieve pressure on his brain and have lowered his body temperature to between 93.2 to 95 degrees as part of the medically induced coma.
The neurology team at Grenoble is recognized as among the best in France and the hospital, in a city that is the gateway to the French Alps, sees a large number of skiing accidents every year.
The area where Schumacher was skiing is part of a web of trails that slice down through a vast and, in parts, very steep snowfield. Although challenging, the snowfield is not extreme skiing. The runs are broad and neatly tended, and the ungroomed area in between -- where the resort said Schumacher was found -- is free of trees.
As news of the accident spread, Ferrari, which Schumacher raced for, expressed its concern in a statement.
"Everyone at Ferrari has been in a state of anxiety since hearing about Michael Schumacher's accident," it said, adding that company president, Luca di Montezemolo, and race team leader, Stefano Domenicali, were in contact with the family.
Many Formula One drivers used social media to wish Schumacher a quick recovery.
His former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who recovered from life-threatening injuries sustained at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, wrote on Instagram: "I am praying for you my brother!! I hope you have a quick recovery!! God bless you Michael."
Support also came from leading German sports personalities, ranging from the NBA to soccer.
Boris Becker, the retired tennis champion now working with Novak Djokovic, posted:
Let us all pray for @realschumacher michael for a full and speedy recovery !!!— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) December 30, 2013
An earlier tweet used in this story came from an unverified Sebastian Vettel Twitter account and has been removed. Vettel is a four-time F1 champion who is close to Schumacher.
In addition to the crash at Silverstone, Schumacher was hurt seriously in a motorcycling accident in February 2009 in Spain when he suffered neck and spine injuries.
Those injuries prevented him making a comeback that year to stand in for the injured Massa, however he came back to the sport full time in 2010.
Schumacher is the most successful driver in Formula One history, with seven drivers' championships and 91 race wins.
After initial success with the Benetton team, he moved to Ferrari and helped turn the Italian team into the sport's dominant force. After retiring in 2006, he made a comeback in 2010 and raced for three years with Mercedes.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.