Ralf won’t say ‘no’ to Spyker option

Fri, 5 October 2007, 11:40

Toyota refugee Ralf Schumacher has refused to rule out switching to one of F1’s slowest teams in 2008.

And for the first time this year, the struggling six-time grand prix winner has backed away from his earlier statements that his chance of staying on the grid beyond the end of 2007 is ‘100 per cent’.

Asked by Germany’s popular Bild newspaper if he might drive for Spyker next year, which is now co-owned by his Indian friend Vijay Mallya, 32-year-old Schumacher replied: “I don’t want to say ‘definitely not’ to anything, but at the moment nothing is fixed.”

In Shanghai for his penultimate grand prix with Toyota, Ralf admitted that he has not enjoyed the 2007 season.

“I would be lying if I said it has been fun,” said the German. “My results this year have been pretty average; or in fact rather worse than average.”

But he insists that he is not yet ready to follow his brother Michael into retirement, or into a different role in the paddock. “As a cook I am not very good, and as a TV expert I’m too young,” Schumacher grinned.

More solemnly, he told Auto Motor und Sport: “For three years we have tried to have success, but after our best season in 2005 it went downhill.

“I am not hopeful that it will all be better next year, so it is better to part ways. Luckily I am still young enough to do something else.

“Fortunately I would survive without being a racing driver, but at the moment I don’t want to think about it.”

Ralf says he made his decision to quit Toyota some time ago.

“But it would have been unfair to announce it before the team’s home race at Fuji.”

He denies that he is past his prime as a driver.

“If that is true then also (Jarno) Trulli is too slow,” Schumacher argued. “We have never been very far apart in the championship points.

“Everyone knows how quick Jarno is, so if it is not working for both the drivers, chances are that the disappointing results have other causes,” Schumacher insisted.

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