Gene steps in for Ralf at Williams

Ralf Schumacher's slim hopes of winning the world championship have now disappeared with the news that the Williams driver will take no further part in the Italian Grand Prix. He will be replaced by Williams test driver Marc Gene

Gene steps in for Ralf at Williams

Schumacher had a heavy testing shunt at Monza last week and although he was passed fit to drive this weekend after tests at home in Austria, he complained of headaches after the first day's running at Monza yesterday.

Williams chief operations engineer Sam Michael said: "We made a decision this morning to give Marc as much time as possible before qualifying. Ralf didn't feel well last night and we took the decision to stand him down. He will be back for Indy but clearly that is it for the drivers' championship for him. We now have to concentrate on getting the best possible position for Marc to help us in the constructors championship."

Gene, who has completed 33 grands prix for Minardi, with a best finish of sixth place in the '99 European Grand Prix, last raced in 2000 and has been Williams test driver for the past three years. He has been racing in the Dallara-Nissan World Series this year.

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