Ralf will see out season

Team boss Frank Williams moved on Wednesday to dismiss speculation that Ralf Schumacher is facing an early exit from his team after a bust-up at last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix

Ralf will see out season

Williams was understood to have been furious that Schumacher refused to get back in his car and complete the race following a collision with David Coulthard that damaged his car. Schumacher had parked the car amid great confusion when he rushed into the pits just when team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya had been due to stop for new fuel and tyres.

It took the team a few minutes to deduce that Schumacher had suffered nothing more than a puncture and that his car was in a good enough state to get back on track, but Schumacher refused to do so - because he was two laps down.

That disagreement prompted rumours that the team was considering dropping Schumacher for the final two races of the year and replacing him with Antonio Pizzonia, who had impressed as a stand in for Schumacher in four races earlier in the season.

But Frank Williams made it clear that the team was fully committed to its German star, who will be joining Toyota next season.

He said: "Let there be no misunderstanding about the team's commitment to Ralf. He will be racing for the team in Japan and Brazil.

"Since his recuperation, his work in the car - both testing and racing - has been characteristically quick and consistent, and his contribution to the championship outcome will be vital."

Ironically the statement came just a few hours after Pizzonia was sent home from testing at Jerez after injuring his ankle in a fall at his hotel in Shanghai as he returned to Europe. Olivier Beretta has replaced him this week.

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Williams Reiterates Ralf Commitment
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