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Schumacher to head FIA's Motor Sport Safety Development Fund 25 May 2008

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 24 May 2008 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari watches Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 22 May 2008 Max Mosley (GBR) FIA President.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 22 May 2008 Jean Todt (FRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 24 May 2008

Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has been elected chairman of the newly established Motor Sport Safety Development Fund. The Fund has been created to manage the distribution of motor sport safety-related grants from the FIA’s US$60 million share of the $100 million fine imposed on McLaren-Mercedes last year.

Chaired by Michael Schumacher, the Fund’s management committee is made up of Max Mosley, FIA President; Nick Craw, President of the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States; Jean Todt, Member of the Board, Ferrari SpA and Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

Working in close collaboration with the FIA Institute the programme of fund activities will roll out later this year and will include a young driver safety scholarship programme, an officials skills safety training programme and a facility safety improvement consultancy programme.

“I’m proud to be able to help with the further development of safety in motor sport across the world,” said Schumacher. “The FIA has achieved a great deal already in its safety activities but the grants available from this new Fund will make a huge contribution to improving motor sport safety, especially in emerging motor sport markets.”

FIA President Mosley added: “From the outset we had intended that any fine imposed on McLaren-Mercedes would be used for the benefit of the grass roots of motor sport. I’m delighted that this money will be invested in a safer future for our sport.”

Ferrari’s Todt, said: “I’m pleased that the unfortunate events of last year have given rise to a worthy project that will benefit all aspects of motor racing.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “The success of our sport at the top level depends on strong foundations at the grass roots. This new Fund will make a huge difference as we invest in improving the training and skills in motor sport across the world.”

The young driver safety scholarship programme will consist of grants awarded to young drivers demonstrating exceptional talent to support their understanding of safety and human performance issues in motor sport and on the ordinary road. The scholarship will include a special course in injury prevention, safety management and human performance. Special emphasis will also be placed on the role model that young racing drivers should try to adopt in their career in the sport.

The officials skills safety training programme will consist of grants awarded to officials to upgrade their skills in a wide range of organisational functions relevant to safety at motor sport events. Grants will cover the cost of participation in training programmes offered by experienced National Sporting Associations and also to support participation in the safety-related training programmes being developed by the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety.

The facility safety improvement consultancy programme will help with the development of motor sport venues in emerging motor sport nations. In some places the development of viable venues, in terms of their level of spectator and competitor safety, is a vital task. The Programme will offer grant support for consultancy services to National Sporting Associations that are in the process of establishing or upgrading motor sport facilities and ensure that appropriate safety standards are in place.

The Fund is administered by the FIA Foundation, a UK-registered charity.