Michael Schumacher reportedly battling pneumonia

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is believed to be in a serious condition in hospital after contracting pneumonia

Formula One legend Michael Schumacher has contracted pneumonia while doctors tried to bring him out of a coma, it has been reported.

German newspaper Bild, which is known to have sources close to the racing driver, reported that doctors are treating him with strong antibiotics as they try to work out how serious the infection is. The 45-year-old former racing driver is said to have contracted the lung infection last week after being in a coma for six weeks following a skiing accident in the French Alps.

Doctors at the University Hospital in Grenoble have been forced to deny rumours over his wellbeing since he was admitted following the accident on 29 December.

The French Alps ski resort of Meribel where Schumacher hit his head in a skiing accidentPA

The French Alps ski resort where Schumacher hit his head

Schumacher’s manager Sabine Khem refused to confirm the reports, saying this week: “We do not comment on speculation.”

However, the head of the department of emergency medicine at the Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg, Professor Heinz Peter Moecke, told Bild how a lung inflammation in a coma could occur.

He said one reason could be that a coma patient cannot cough when any secretion forms in the throat because they have a tube in the trachea. He said: “A healthy person coughs or swallows several times per minute, usually without noticing it. This protects the lungs.”

Fans took to Twitter today to express their sadness over the recent news. One fan, @Frankiee, said: “Sad news about condition [of] Michael Schumacher. He has got next to his brain damage now also pneumonia. Take care.”

Schumacher’s wife Corinna is said to be constantly by his bedside and has spent hours talking to him in an attempt to bring him out of his coma.

So far the seven-time world champion has not shown any response and the recent attempt to slowly bring him out of his coma installed hope he may come round.