Schumacher to leave Toyota

Ralf Schumacher has ended months of speculation by confirming that he will be leaving Toyota at the end of the 2007 season. There have been rumours over Schumacher s career with Toyota for a while, with many believing that he would be pushed out before the end of the season thanks to his poor qualifying performances that oft saw him eliminated in Q1.

A statement on his website read, “Having been a Toyota driver in the past three years, I opted for looking for a new challenge.”

Schumacher left Williams in 2005 to become a Toyota driver however his three seasons with the team have been less than spectacular and he has often struggled to match the pace of his team-mate, Jarno Trulli. In his career with Toyota, he has managed just three podium places. This season, he is currently lying in 14th place in the drivers championship with just five points.

I joined Toyota with high expectations,” Schumacher remarked “On the one hand, I regarded it as a major and exciting challenge to be involved in the development of a new racing car. On the other hand, I also learned to like the Japanese style of living, during my long stay in Japan before entering Formula One. And I still get on well with the Japanese mentality. But I am waiting for years for a competitive car.”

Schumacher has said that he will not make an announcement regarding his future until after Interlagos. “I am going to have several conversations in the coming weeks,” Schumacher continued. “I will announce my decision when the season is over. For me, the financial aspect is far less important than the chance of being involved in the development of a car and being successful afterwards.”