Memorabilia signed by Michael Schumacher is going under the hammer in a charity auction for the Prince's Trust.

Gear bearing the seven-times Formula One champion's signature could have a macabre added value as it is still not known whether he will ever recover from catastrophic ski crash injuries.

A paddock pass signed by Schumacher is up for sale with a reserve price of £1,430 at the Grand Prix Ball. It was described as "incredibly rare" by organisers.

The Prince's Trust will receive 30% of proceeds from the auction and other events at the ball.

Schumacher is hailed in the item's description as "the greatest F1 driver of all time".

He lies in a coma at Grenoble Hospital near the French Alps, with hopes fading in some quarters that he will ever regain full consciousness.

The auction of Schumacher memorabilia comes at the end of a week in which the former chief doctor of Formula One warned family, fans and friends to expect "really bad news" about the racing driver's condition.

Gary Hartstein wrote on his blog it was "less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent" and blamed doctors treating him at Grenoble hospital for "worsening the outcome".

The tragic star's family have been defiantly upbeat about his prospects, claiming recently he was showing "small signs" of consciousness during efforts to lift him from his coma by decreasing the amount of sedation.

Speaking in Malaysia ahead of the Grand Prix, former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, 32, expressed hope Schumacher could yet recover from devastating head injuries he sustained in a ski crash in France late last year.

Massa said: "I pray every day for him and will never stop thinking of him until he is okay."