Michael Schumacher in 2012. The German driver was a major donor behind the creation of the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris

Car racing, and particularly Formula One, is being increasingly scrutinized because of head injuries linked to the absence of adequate safety measures. But at the same time, Formula One’s greatest gifts to society at large could turn out to be medical, scientific and technological advances in brain and spine medicine.

Decades of research by the International Automobile Federation, or F.I.A., the sport’s governing body, have led to safety requirements that have saved many lives. But most recent deaths in motor sports have resulted from head injuries to drivers exposed in open cockpits. READ THE RESULTS


Dr. Gérard Saillant, center, head of the International Automobile Federation’s medical commission, with other doctors in France after the former world champion Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident in 2013

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