Schumacher facing further legal action

TRIPLE World Champion Michael Schumacher is facing further legal problems, just two weeks before he begins the defence of his title in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

According to reports in Belgium, Brussels-based Bell Helmets are seeking compensation from the German driver over his decision to switch helmets this season.

Schumacher's contract with Bell is due to expire at the end of 2001 but has switched to a German company for this year, which is a bullet-proof helmet.

According to the Belgian daily newspaper LA DERNIERE HEURE, the company is thought to be seeking up to 750,000 (pounds) in damages for breach of contract.

It is the latest of a number of problems for the Ferrari driver who recently lost a legal battle against a German art gallery which had a partially nude painting of him on display.

Schumacher is also involved in a further legal battle with an impersonator who he claims uses the image of the German champion without permission to earn a living .

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