Sentiment will not Affect Title Bid, Says Ralf

Ralf Schumacher says his personal and professional relationships with title contenders Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya will not cloud his own judgement in Sunday's US Grand Prix.

Sentiment will not Affect Title Bid, Says Ralf

Ralf Schumacher says his personal and professional relationships with title contenders Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya will not cloud his own judgement in Sunday's US Grand Prix.

Schumacher's brother, Michael, is on the verge of an unprecedented sixth Drivers' Championship while Montoya, Ralf's teammate at Williams, is three points behind Schumacher senior in the standings.

"I do not care about that," Ralf told reporters after qualifying for the season's penultimate race in fifth position on Saturday, one place behind Montoya and two ahead of his brother.

"I want to win here and at Suzuka (in the last race of the year). Of course, some will say it is a difficult situation because my brother wants the Championship and so does my teammate. But that's the way it is...it does not affect my approach."

On Pole

Asked who he would back for the title, Ralf said: "Even if the team principal ordered me to bet on the outcome, I would not do it."

McLaren's Kimi Raikonnen is also still in with a chance of winning the crown and the Finn will start Sunday's race on pole.

Ralf Schumacher, 28, six years younger than his brother, is returning to action following a serious crash in testing one week before the Monza Grand Prix earlier this month.

"Last week I was still feeling dizzy but I would say at the start of this week I began to feel much better," said the German. "I still suffer from headaches but not while I am in the car, only after racing."

Ralf Schumacher has a contract with Williams until the end of 2004 and says he is in no rush to finalise a new deal.

"Everyone has been talking for two or three months but I am under no pressure to sign," he said. "There are still a few details to discuss and there is certainly no need to finish something in the next few days."

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