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Old 31st March 2004, 18:40   #1
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Ralf to sign for Toyota?

Latest twist to contract saga suggests Schuey Jr is ready to move

Williams driver Ralf Schumacher is reportedly on the verge of signing a 60 million deal to drive for Toyota next season in the latest twist to the ongoing saga over the German's 2005 destiny.

A source close to Schumacher has told The Sun newspaper that a five-year contract with the Japanese team has already been drawn up and it includes bonus performance clauses, which could net Ralf an extra 4 million.

In contrast, Williams wants to cut Schumacher's salary from 12 million to 3 million, also with performance-based bonus money available.

If the source is correct, the move would contradict Schumacher's manager Willi Weber, who said last week that his charge's stalled contract negotiations with Williams-BMW were not about money, and that Schumacher would take a pay cut in order to remain at the team. He also insisted that he had not spoken with Toyota about a seat for 2005.

It was understood that Weber had set a deadline for a week after this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix for any Williams deal to be in place.

But the Sun's source said: "It looks odds-on that Ralf will be at Toyota next season because there is no way Williams will try and match the offer."

It added that Schumacher wants to transform Toyota into a championship-winning team in the way his older brother Michael has done with Ferrari in order to give his career a boost.

The source said: "He has watched the adulation Michael has earned by making Ferrari great and he would like to see if he can do the same with Toyota. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance."

Source : Autocar
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Old 31st March 2004, 18:47   #2
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There are lots of rumous surrounding Ralf quitting Williams. First it was supposedly Renault and now Toyota. At the same time its said that Ralf is ready to stick to Williams and take a pay cut. Everything will be out only once the season is mid way i think. Thats how F1 teams are...

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Old 2nd April 2004, 03:48   #3
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actually u never know what willi's thinking.. or doing..
here's the latest..

"I spoke to Flavio but only casually and I have not spoken to Toyota seriously at all," Weber added. "I have looked at the alternatives, of course, but only casually as we still hope Williams will work out."

ralf does want to stay at williams.. but if they dont pay him enough.. and by that i mean a basic pay.. without the performance bonus he isnt going to..

personally i think he shud stay at williams for a yr.. 2 at the most..
coz.. mike gascoyne will take atleast that to make a diff. at toyota.. and once he has.. it wud be a car he cud win races in.. once in a while !

this way he'l get 2 yrs to win races.. and the rest to make money ! he'l probably get a better offer from toyota once he starts doing well..
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