Doctors treating Michael Schumacher said Tuesday that new scans showed "slight improvement" in the Formula One icon's condition after he underwent a second operation to relieve pressure on his brain.

"We can't say he is out of danger but ... we have gained a bit of time," Dr. Jean-Francois Payen, the doctor in charge of Grenoble University Hospital's intensive care unit, told a press conference. "The coming hours are crucial."

The seven-time Formula One world champion suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps resort of Meribel on Sunday. Initial findings indicated the blow was so hard that Schumacher's helmet shattered.

The crash left Schumacher, 44, with internal bleeding and injuries including contusions and lesions.

Emmanuel Gay, head of the hospital's neurosurgery service, said the latest operation involved removing a large hematoma - the medical term for a build-up of blood - from the left-hand side of Schumacher's brain.

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