Bahrain International Circuit Names 1st Corner After F1 Star Michael Schumacher

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterMarch 2, 2014

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2012 file photo, Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher, of Germany, sits in his car during a free practice at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil. French investigators have ruled out any criminal wrongdoing in the debilitating ski accident of Formula One great Michael Schumacher, a state prosecutor said Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. Albertville prosecutor Patrick Quincy said
Victor Caivano/Associated Press

Michael Schumacher will give his name to the first corner of the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, according to the track chairman Zayed Al Zayani.

Speaking on the final day of pre-season testing in the Gulf, Al Zayani told press that the blessing of Schumacher's family had been sought before the gesture—the German remains in a medically-induced coma after a skiing accident at the end of 2013.

Autosport were amongst those who carried Al Zayani's quotes:

With the support of his family, it is a great privilege to be able to honour arguably the greatest racing driver in the history of F1 and someone who the people of Bahrain hold close to their hearts.

From his first appearance at the BIC in 2004, he immediately became an inspiration for all those who love motorsport in the Kingdom and it is therefore natural for us to recognise him in this way.

The team at the BIC continues to offer Michael and his family its best wishes.

Schumacher has won a record seven world titles, and he took the chequered flag first in the inaugural race in Bahrain back in 2004. He had also played a part in advising track designers as they designed the Sakhir facility.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 23:  Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP walks in the paddock following practice for the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 23, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Mark T
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

His manager, Sabine Kehm, also gave a statement on the move, saying she felt sure Schumacher would be honoured by the gesture. Journalist James Allen, who carries the quotes, added that it was likely to be the first of many such tributes for Schumacher during the season as F1 tries to come to terms with the absence of one of its greatest champions.

Michael’s family would like to thank the Bahrain International Circuit for this gesture, acknowledging Michael’s achievements in Formula One and interest in the BIC circuit design. We take it as a recognition for his passion for motorsport. I am convinced Michael will love the idea and feel very honoured about having a BIC corner named after him.

Schumacher also gave his name to the Turn 8-9 combination at the Nurburgring in his native Germany, as per Autosport, but the track is currently alternating with Hockenheim to host the German Grand Prix, and is not on the calendar this year.