The world of premier motor racing could be set to farewell yet another member of the Schumacher family.
Ralf Schumacher, the former Williams and Toyota driver, has opened the door to retirement as he looks to finish this year’s German touring car ‘DTM’ series almost dead last. The 37-year-old, whose elder brother Michael is returning to retirement at the end of this year’s F1 calendar, also drives for Mercedes’ works team.
“I’m going to do the last race and then think about what my future looks like,” Schumacher is quoted by the Kolner Express newspaper ahead of this weekend’s Hockenheim finale.
He is third to last in the 2012 DTM standings, having scored just 8 points compared to teammate Jamie Green’s 109. Ralf Schumacher won 6 grands prix during his 182 grand prix career between 1997 and 2007.
Michael Schumacher’s brother Ralf has tipped the seven time world champion to keep racing beyond his 44th birthday. Schumacher’s Mercedes deal runs out this year, but talks about a new contract for 2013 are yet to be discussed.
Ralf Schumacher, also a grand prix winner and six years younger than his more famous sibling, was asked by Bild am Sonntag newspaper about Michael’s recent anti-Pirelli outburst. Asked if it was an overreaction to the fact his teammate Nico Rosberg was the first Mercedes driver to win in 2012, Ralf answered: “It has nothing to do with it.
“But for sure Michael came back to celebrate successes with Mercedes. And until he succeeds, he will not give up.
“I still see a lot of fire in Michael,” said Ralf Schumacher, now a DTM driver with Mercedes. “He is pushing hard, as we saw as recently as Mugello last week.”
Ralf said Mercedes’ 2012 F1 car, the W03, is well built.
“I think we will see Michael on the podium soon,” he insisted. “At some point, there surely comes a point when the body can’t do it any more. But when I look at Michael, that’s still a few years away.
“I certainly won’t be racing as long as he has,” he laughed.
Ralf Schumacher has ruled out following his older brother Michael’s lead and returning to F1. Last weekend, the 36 year old German driver began his fifth consecutive season at the wheel of a Mercedes in the German touring car series DTM.
He was a respected winner of 6 grands prix, driving most recently for Toyota in 2007, but despite his famous brother’s return to F1 with Mercedes, Ralf told Germany’s Der Westen that his own grand prix career “is over”.
“Formula One is exciting and beautiful, but the DTM is much more friendly, we don’t have to travel all around the world, everything is familiar. I like that,” the German said.