Formula One legend Niki Lauda opened up about Michael Schumacher's tragic ski accident before his death at the age of 70.

Lauda had predicted that it was unlikely Schumacher would recover from the 2013 incident which left him in an induced coma.

"I pray to God that it will all end well, but sadly it doesn't seem that way at the moment," Lauda, who rated Schumacher the greatest driver, said in an interview with The Guardian.

"I believe there is someone up there trying to help in this situation.

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"He decides things we cannot understand. I find it completely shocking and unexplainable why this great driver, who won seven championships in over 300 races and stayed alive, could have something like this happen to him."

The Austrian-born legend had a brush with death himself after a major crash during the 1976 German Grand Prix.

The three-time Formula One champion was badly burned and left scarred following the fiery crash.

Lauda's death was announced yesterday, with the family later releasing a heartbreaking statement.

"With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday.

"His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain.

"A role model and a benchmark for all of us, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public, and he will be missed."