Michael Schumacher Heads New Motor Sport Safety Development Fund
The Motor Sport Safety Development Fund has been created to manage the distribution of the $60 million awarded to the FIA (Federation Internationale De L’Automobile) as part of the $100 million fine which was imposed on McLaren-Mercedes in 2007. Heading up the new fund as Chairman, is Michael Schumacher, seven times Formula One world champion.
In addition to Michael Schumacher as Chairman, the fund’s management committee includes Max Mosley, FIA President; Jean Todt, Member of the Board of Ferrari; Nic Craw, President of the Automobile Competition Committee for the USA; and Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
As the name of the fund suggests, it will ensure that the money is used in the interests of motor sport safety. Working hand-in-hand with the FIA Institute, the Motor Sport Safety Development Fund will establish a Young Driver Safety Scholarship Program, a Facility Safety Improvement Consultancy Program and an Officials Skills Safety Training Program.
Expressing his viewpoint with regard to his appointment as Chairman of the Motor Sport Safety Development Fund and the role it will play, Michael Schumacher has been quoted as saying: “I’m proud to be able to help with the further development of safety in motor sport across the world. 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.”
Jean Todt stated that he was pleased that the unfortunate events of last year had been resolved and that it had resulted in a worthy project. As a long-standing member of Ferrari’s Board of Directors, Todt would have been acutely aware of the ins-and-outs of the so-called “spy scandal” in which McLaren stood accused of, and was found guilty for, cheating by using data obtained from a Ferrari employee to improve its own car. The $100 million fine has gone down in motor sport history as the harshest punishment ever given to a team since the sport began 57 years ago. Additionally, the FIA stripped McLaren of all its constructor’s points for the entire 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
Norbert Haug said that the money entrusted to the Motor Sport Safety Development Fund would be used to ensure that the sport had strong foundations. FIA President, Max Mosley confirmed that the intention had always been to use any money received from the McLaren-Mercedes fine for the benefit of motor sport at grass-roots level. Now that the money has been allocated, it will be invested in a safer future for motor sport.