Ralf future to remain unclear for ‘weeks’ – manager

Thu, 30 August 2007, 08:13

Ralf Schumacher’s manager has essentially confirmed reports that Toyota will not be simply taking up the 2008 ‘option’ on the German racer’s existing contract.

It was reported on Wednesday that Cologne based Toyota had decided against extending 32-year-old Schumacher’s $19m a year deal; possibly to bring down the price of the huge retainer.

It could also mean that the former six-time grand prix winner will be left without a seat after eleven years on the formula one grid.

“Whether Ralf is going to drive for Toyota or another team in 2008 will not be decided for some weeks,” Ralf’s manager Hans Mahr told the German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur.

Former German F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck, meanwhile, advises the Japanese giant to stick with Ralf rather than opt for a rookie such as Timo Glock, who is in talks with Toyota about a $2m deal for 2008.

“For Toyota, there is no better solution on the market than Ralf,” the veteran of 74 grands prix in the 70s told the newspaper Bild.

“Ralf already knows how to win races and has a wealth of experience.”

Stuck concluded: “His management should explore an achievement-based arrangement; a basic retainer with high bonuses dependant on success.”

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