Ralf plays down Force India test

Thu, 6 December 2007, 09:34

Ralf Schumacher has played down the significance of his one-day test for Force India on Thursday.

In the media, the German veteran’s Jerez appearance is being billed as a last ditch effort to save his beleaguered career.

But Schumacher, 32, who watched from the sidelines on Wednesday, said: “I am here as a friendly service to the team.”

Schumacher told Sport Bild that he promised his friend Vijay Mallya, who now owns Force India, that he would test this winter.

“I am fulfilling my promise,” said Ralf, who met Mallya when the Indian billionaire was a sponsor of Toyota in 2007.

Schumacher, however, also responded to Bernie Ecclestone’s recent claim that it might not be wise for formula one veterans like himself and Giancarlo Fisichella to change to “small teams”.

Ralf suggested that, with billionaires in charge of both Force India and Red Bull, neither can be regarded as particularly small.

Fisichella tested for two days with Force India this week, and at Jerez outlined the possibility of working with the team in 2008 whilst not ruling out staying with Renault.

“There will be a lot more money available compared to last year, so there are a number of things that make me believe that if I stay with Force India for 2008 I’ll be able to make the team grow up quite a lot,” he said.

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