Video has emerged of Michael Schumacher being airlifted by helicopter to hospital following his crash in the French Alps ski resort of Meribel.

The footage shows an air ambulance rising from a slope. Clearly visible is medical equipment including stretchers and first aid kits, as well as the dark shapes of the rocks upon which the seven-time Formula One champion hit his head.

Schumacher, 44, was rushed to hospital in the nearby town of Grenoble where he underwent emergency brain surgery. He remains in a critical condition with his family at his bedside.

Schumacher had been skiing with his 14-year-old son when he went off-piste and the accident happened.

Messages of support poured in from the racing world for the German speed lover, who enjoys motorbikes, horse riding and sky diving in addition to motor racing and skiing.

Fans gathered outside the hospital in Grenoble where he is being treated.