Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Schumacher Helmet Row Delayed to Wednesday

Monday February 26th, 2001

A Belgian judge on Monday postponed a legal action by a sponsor of Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, the sponsor's lawyer said.

Sports Europe, a Belgium-based distributor of Bell Helmets accused the Ferrari driver of breach of contract, as he had worn a helmet made by a competitor, lawyer Daniel Spreutels told Reuters.

Judge Christine Dalcq postponed the case in a Brussels civil court until Wednesday.

Schumacher apparently wore a helmet made by German brand Schuberth Helme during Formula One testing in Barcelona last month, breaking an exclusive deal with Sports Europe to wear a Bell helmet at every sporting event, Spreutels said.

"All we want is that he respects the terms of the contract before the Melbourne Grand Prix," he said.

The lawyer representing Schumacher, who is racing in this weekend's season opener in Australia, declined to comment.

Sports Europe Managing Director Kindt Cohen said Schumacher had an agreement with her company to wear Bell helmets since 1992.

"It's always been a harmonious relationship," she said.

Schumacher renewed the contract every year and had already signed up for the 2001 season, she said.

Cohen said she found out about Schumacher wearing a rival's helmet after pictures of the 32-year-old German in Barcelona appeared in newspapers last month.



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