Honda website
Honda website

MARCH 2, 2001

Schumacher will wear original helmet

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER has confirmed that he will revert to wearing his original Bell crash helmet after the German driver lost a court case in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday.

Legal action was brought against Schumacher by Sports Europe, a distributor of Bell Helmets, after they saw the reigning world champion wearing a rival Schuberth Helme helmet during testing in Spain in January.

Judge Christine Dalcq ruled that Schumacher must wear the Bell helmet as per his contract with Sports Europe, which detailed that he must use the helmet in all motorsport events in 2001.

The judge ruled that if Schumacher decided to disobey the order and continued to use the Schuberth helmet, then for every day he committed the misdemeanor he would be ordered to pay $115,000.

"Obviously after this decision now from Brussels I am forced to use the Bell helmet again," said Schumacher. "It is not what I wish to do because I felt very happy with the Schuberth helmet."

Ironically, Schumacher was wearing a Schuberth helmet when he crashed spectacularly during Friday's practice for the Australian Grand Prix. He clipped a curb at turn six and barrel-rolled his Ferrari F2001 two times before coming to a rest on three wheels, with the fourth hanging over the chassis by its safety thread.

Schumacher, however, must revert to Bell helmet for Saturday's practice and qualifying or face the wrath of the Belgian court.

Schumacher wanted to switch helmets after his younger brother Ralf, who drives for BMW-Williams, recommended Schuberth and the world champion himself deemed their helmet safer than Bell's.