Ralf Schumacher has played down the effect on formula one that his elder brother Michael’s impending retirement will have.
“Formula one has already proved that it is not dependant on any one driver. The same will be true for Michael.
“Toyota will not sell any fewer cars just because Michael has stopped,” Ralf, referring to his own F1 employer, insisted to Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
He also steered clear of sentimentality in contemplating 2007 — set to be the first season in his decade-long grand prix career to feature only a single Schumacher sibling.
Ralf said: “As a racing driver nothing is going to change. The pressure for me will be the same as it always has been.
“Having the name ‘Schumacher’ probably helped me to get into F1, but Michael never rode with me in the cockpit. He helped me with my karting but then he had his own things to do.”
Schumacher rejected suggestions that his brother might offer him advice from the sidelines in his retirement years.
“Michael will probably be a Ferrari advisor in the future so he won’t want to help a Toyota driver,” Ralf said.
“I will surely miss him as a competitor, though.”