Schumacher has a longstanding connection to the track popularly known as Sakhir. The German driver consulted on its layout and construction. He also won the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix there in 2004 with Ferrari (pictured above), setting the lap record that still stands today. And when he came out of retirement to drive for Mercedes in 2010, his first race back on the grid was at Bahrain.
The decision to name the corner after Schumi was made "with the support of his family," according to track chairman Zayed Al Zayani in the statement below. Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm added, "I am convinced Michael will love the idea." It's not the first time a racing circuit has named a corner after Schumacher, however: turns 8 and 9 at the Nürburgring grand prix circuit are similarly known as the Michael Schumacher S.
First corner to be named after F1's most successful driver ever
The Bahrain International Circuit, is proud to announce, following consultation with his family, that it is to name the first corner of the BIC track after F1 legend Michael Schumacher. The motorsport venue is honouring Schumacher as part of its 10th anniversary, which will also be the BIC's first Formula 1 night race on 6th April 2014.
Schumacher, who won the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004 - and still holds the lap record - won an unprecedented seven world championships during his illustrious career.
He also has strong connections with the BIC outside of his participation in racing and was directly involved in the early stages of the BIC's development, offering his own input into the design of the track, including the layout of turn one.
Zayed Al Zayani, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, said:
"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."
Sabine Kehm, speaking on behalf of the Schumacher family, said:
"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."