Michael Schumacher's family welcome tribute after first corner at Bahrain renamed after F1 legend
The family of Michael Schumacher have welcomed the news that the first corner of the Bahrain International Circuit will be renamed after the Formula One legend, who is still in a coma in a French hospital after a skiing accident in late December.
The seven-times world champion won the inaugural Bahrain race in 2004 and also advised on the design of the circuit.
Schumacher's representative, Sabine Kehm, said the German's family appreciated the move.
"Michael's family would like to thank the Bahrain International Circuit for this gesture, acknowledging Michael's achievements in Formula 1 and interest in the BIC circuit design," she said.
"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."
Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed al Zayani added in a statement released on Sunday:
"From his first appearance... 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."
Schumacher also has a corner named after him at the Nuerburgring circuit in Germany.
The announcement was made on the last day of pre-season testing at the circuit ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16.
Bahrain hosts the third round of the championship on 6 April, with the race becoming an evening event under floodlights for the first time as part of 10th anniversary celebrations.
Schumacher, 45, has undergone two operations since sustaining brain injuries after hitting his head on a rock while skiing with his family in the French Alpine resort of Meribel on 29 December.
Doctors at the hospital in Grenoble started waking him up progressively by lowering his sedation in early February but there have been no medical updates for some weeks.