Michael Schumacher headed to starting grid on 20th anniversary of Formula 1 debut in commemorative gold-plated Schuberth helmet

MAGDEBURG GERMANY /SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

The winningest Formula 1 driver of all time, Michael Schumacher (Mercedes GP Petronas), will be celebrating yet another historic first at the Grand Prix of Spa-Francorchamps: Twenty years after his debut in the premier division of his sport, the 42 year old is still racing as an active driver - an unprecedented show of longevity. His star launched its incredible ascent on 25 August 1991. On 28 August 2011 it will truly shine - in gold.

Helmet manufacturer Schuberth will present the 7-time world champion with a special helmet to commemorate the day in grand style - with 21-carat gold plating. It will be the first time that Michael Schumacher has gone without his familiar, predominantly red helmet design, and will only be worn in the anniversary race. Schumacher's customary design elements, including the dragons, are all in place. Michael Schumacher and Schuberth GmbH, a global excellence leader in the development and production of head protection technology, have enjoyed a close, successful partnership since 2001.

"I'm tremendously flattered that Schuberth is dedicating this kind of helmet to me. Gold plating as homage to my racing debut 20 years ago in Spa and the golden years that followed - that's a grand idea and an expression of our strong partnership that's lasted for quite a while now", Michael Schumacher stated.

Marcel Lejeune, CEO at helmet manufacturer Schuberth, said the following about the gold-plated commemorative helmet: "Through the helmet we wanted to express to Michael our tremendous respect for his life's achievement. If there's one racer in this world worthy of a gilded helmet, then it's Michael Schumacher".

Schumacher holds almost all records in the top division of his sport. With 91 Grand Prix victories, he is far and away the most successful driver in history.

The helmet is also Schuberth's thank you for a tremendous partnership, which has lead to the creation of one of the world's safest helmets.

Schuberth will make just twenty gold-plated 1:1 replica helmets with a certificate of authenticity signed by Michael Schumacher - one for each of Schumacher's years in F1. There will also be additional replicas with gold paint. The replicas can be ordered in the Schuberth online shop at www.shop.Schuberth.com.

Schuberth will donate one of the 20 gold-plated replicas to the FIA "Action for Road Safety" campaign. The campaign aims at achieving a significant reduction in the number of traffic fatalities worldwide by 2020. This starts with improved accident prevention measures in developing and emerging countries, where 90 percent of all fatal traffic accidents worldwide occur. Michael Schumacher has been active for a number of years on behalf of the FIA foundation as an ambassador.