I’m not quitting – Ralf

Sun, 14 January 2007, 04:23

Ralf Schumacher has dismissed any suggestion that 2007 could be his last on the formula one grid.

The German’s eminent brother, Michael, has hung up his helmet after a sixteen year career, but 31-year-old Ralf – six and a half years younger – allayed fears that his expiring Toyota contract could spell the end of his decade-long tenure at the pinnacle of motor sport.

Toyota chiefs at the TF107 launch on Friday said they would think about picking up a two-year option on Ralf’s contract for 2008 and 2009 only after a few races this year.

But Schumacher said: “I can promise you one thing — I’m not even close to thinking about quitting.”

Ralf concurred that contract talks have been deferred until the 2007 season starts to progress.

“Then my manager Hans Mahr and I will sit down with Toyota and discuss what the future will bring,” Schumacher added.

Reporters at the Toyota launch in Cologne also asked Ralf about his brother’s retirement, after suspicions grew over the past few years that they had fallen out.

Ralf, for example, admitted recently that he found out about Michael’s retirement in the same way as the rest of the world — by tuning-in to the post-race press conference at Monza.

Ralf said on Saturday: “Let me start by saying that Michael made a decision that you have to respect.

“(But) contrary to what was written about us time and again in the past, we always had a pretty good relationship with each other.

“Now I’ll simply have to play tennis on my own in Melbourne!”


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