Insurance Issues Delaying Ralf Comeback

German Ralf Schumacher is fit enough to race at the Italian Grand Prix but was ruled out of the race due to insurance related problems.

Insurance Issues Delaying Ralf Comeback

German Ralf Schumacher is fit enough to race at the Italian Grand Prix but was ruled out of the race due to insurance related problems.

He had hoped to begin a three-day test at Monza today to get ready for next week's Italian Grand Prix, but he first had to undergo a fitness test on Tuesday. Williams said in a statement Schumacher would not race in Italy, but the team did not make any reference to the fitness test.

"Ralf will not take part in the forthcoming Monza test and, as a consequence, the Italian Grand Prix," Williams said. "His recuperation continues well and he is expected to test after the Italian Grand Prix. His position in Italy will again be filled by Antonio Pizzonia."

But a report on the driver's official website said the doctors had established that Ralf's vertebrae have fully healed and that he was fit to race again.

However, the driver's insurance stated a complete recovery from a fracture such as Ralf's takes 12 weeks, while the German driver is only in his 11th, which would mean the insurance would not cover him had he returned to action this week.

"If Ralf Schumacher doesn't race, it's not because of his health condition, but because other problems have come up. Not medical, but insurance-related. I can't say more than that," Johannes Peil, head of the Sportklinik private hospital, told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Team principal Frank Williams was quoted as saying on Ralf's website that he would only allow the German to drive again once all issues are resolved.

"I will let Ralf back in the car only when the doctors and the insurance company will give me the all-clear," Williams said.

"Unless Ralf signs a statement where, in the case of an accident, he renounces any kind of demands. I don't want, in the case of another accident with one of my cars, that Ralf ends up on a wheelchair like me."

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