Ralf Schumacher will leave Toyota 

Written by David on October 01st, 2007 at 3:55 pmLast Update: October 01st, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Ralf Schumacher to leave ToyotaRalf Schumacher has announced that he will leave Toyota at the end of the 2007 season. The German confirmed his decision in a statement on his personal website this afternoon. “Having been a Toyota driver in the past three years, I opted for looking for a new challenge,” he said.

Schumacher joined Toyota from Williams in 2005, but had a largely frustrating three seasons with the Japanese manufacturer. He initially struggled to match teammate Jarno Trulli and has so far taken just three podiums during his time with the squad. He admitted that he had expected more from his Toyota deal. “I joined Toyota with high expectations,” said Schumacher. “On the one hand, I regarded it as a major and exciting challenge to be involved in the development of a new racing car. On the other hand, I also learned to like the Japanese style of living, during my long stay in Japan before entering Formula One. And I still get on well with the Japanese mentality. But I am waiting for years for a competitive car.”

The 32-year-old said he would not make an announcement about his 2008 plans until after Interlagos. “I’m going to have several conversations in the coming weeks,” Schumacher said. “I will announce my decision when the season is over. For me, the financial aspect is far less important than the chance of being involved in the development of a car and being successful afterwards.” Schumacher’s future at Toyota had been in doubt for much of the year. In early summer rumours circulated that he might lose his drive before the end of the season following a run of poor qualifying performances that saw him eliminated in Q1 three times in a row.

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