Schumacher loses helmet court case

WORLD CHAMPION Michael Schumacher was ordered on Thursday to wear a specific crash helmet or face paying thousands in damages.

Schumacher lost a court case in Belgium after legal action was brought against him by Sports Europe, a Belgian distributor of Bell helmets, after they saw him wearing a rival's helmet.

Judge Christine Dalcq ruled that Schumacher must wear Bell helmets or pay $115,000 for every day he disobeys the order.

Schumacher was spotted wearing a Schuberth Helme helmet during testing in Spain last month and Sports Europe claimed that broke a contract he had with them to wear their Bell helmets in all sporting events in 2001.

Judge Dalcq agreed and Schumacher now faces a dilemma as he prepares for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Schumacher claimed he switched to Schuberth Helme helmets because he deemed them safer than Bell helmets, but if he wears the new helmet even in practice for Sunday's race he will be forced to pay out compensation.

Schumacher's lawyer Joelle Prosman refused to confirm at the Brussels court what helmet Schumacher will wear in Melbourne.

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