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Thread: Ralfie having contract troubles
02-23-2004 12:34 PM #1
Ralfie having contract troubles
<a href="http://www.autosport.com/newsitem.asp?id=26083&s=5">Autosport Article</a>
Ralf 'prepared to quit' Williams
Stalled contract negotiations cause major rift
Schumacher has looked good on the track in pre-season, but off-track...
In the latest twist to the 2005 Williams-BMW Formula 1 driver line-up saga, Ralf Schumacher has gone on record as saying he is prepared to leave the team at the end of this season if his future within its ranks is not resolved.
According to German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Schumacher says he is prepared to severe his ties with BMW due to the treatment he has received during contract negotiations with the British team - which has already lost Juan Pablo Montoya to McLaren-Mercedes in 2005.
"Even if me and my manager Willi Weber would find it hard to leave behind our friends at BMW, there's a chance it could happen," said Schumacher. "It would be sad, but I can't allow myself to be treated like that by Williams. I'm not frustrated, but I find it hard to understand certain things that have happened these past few months."
Schumacher has pointed the finger at team principal Frank Williams as the reason for his troubles, and claims that a contract was offered but subsequently retracted.
"Frank Williams says I'm nothing but a money-grabber," said Ralf. "I can only laugh at that. I wanted to sign. We scheduled a meeting for the final race of the season in Japan, but Frank Williams wasn't there and then he suddenly pulled the offer. On a human level I'm very disappointed with him."
Williams told AUTOSPORT last week that the onus is on Schumacher to make a good start to the 2004 season if he wants to maximise his bargaining position: "We won't start talking again until the second half of next year. We'll see where we are in the championship and then go back to fighting over the money."
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02-23-2004 01:01 PM #2
02-24-2004 06:28 PM #3
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