Schuey's sympathy for unwell Ralf

Michael Schumacher admitted that he was a little surprised by his brother's decision not to drive in the Italian Grand Prix, but fully backed his judgement

Schuey's sympathy for unwell Ralf

Williams ace Ralf complained of headaches and nausea after first qualifying on Friday, and has been replaced by test driver Marc Gene.

"I didn't have the chance to speak about this because he left very early on Saturday," said Michael. "I just got the information that he didn't feel well. I think it's absolutely the correct decision because an accident like the one he had [in testing on September 2] certainly needs time to recover from. It is the most reasonable decision he could have made."

"It just shows how tough F1 is and how different it is as well, because we were out for a soccer game on Thursday night and he was feeling well and you wouldn't have expected anything. But going into an F1 car is certainly another story. It is a lot higher frequency and a completely different sort of physical effort. Obviously, that didn't suit him and he couldn't take that, which is very understandable.

"I have some opinions from doctors and I have obviously been through other things in the past so I understand the situation."

Frank Williams said: "Ralf took the decision on Saturday morning but I saw him just after qualifying and he looked awful. I said: Ralf, you look like death, make sure you're in bed by 5pm latest."

The Williams team boss confirmed that with a head injury or balance problem you can never fully predict recovery times and did not rule out the prospect of Ralf missing the remaining races. He would not be drawn on whether Marc Gene would continue in the car in that circumstance or whether the team would look elsewhere.

"Perhaps Gerhard [Berger, the retiring BMW motorsport director] should step up to the plate and offer to do it for nothing," Williams quipped.

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