Ralf: GP Pull Out - a Precaution

Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher said he had decided to pull out of the United States Grand Prix as a precaution

Ralf: GP Pull Out - a Precaution

The German announced this morning that he  would not take part in the North American race after his high-speed crash in the second Friday practice session. Schumacher, who broke his back when he crashed in last year's event, went to hospital with an eye problem and has chosen not to compete after doctors advised against it.

Schumacher said: "I am basically fine and about 80 percent fit to drive but (FIA safety delegate) Gary (Hartstein) decided against it because of the risk of having another hard impact within 48 hours.

"I had scans and I was pretty happy, everything was fine, but I did not feel 100 percent and it is a safety move. The decision was made by the FIA, and it was a tough decision to make."

Schumacher crashed when he lost control of his car heading into the final corner on his first flying lap of the second session and the team have put the accident down to a tyre problem.

The German driver, who was left slumped in his car for several minutes after his heavy backwards shunt into the wall last year, admitted he thought of his previous crash.

Both incidents were caused by a tyre failure and Schumacher added: "This time I was just a bit more lucky. I just lost the rear left tyre and I don't know why."

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta will be handed the chance to race in Schumacher's place and will be in the car for the Saturday morning sessions to prepare for qualifying.

Schumacher added: "I am sorry not to be there for the team but I am sure Ricardo will do a good job. I am not sure if I will stay here all weekend but expect to be back for the next race."

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Series Formula 1
Author Will Gray
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