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Ecclestone Backs Ralf Schumacher for F1 Return

Bernie Ecclestone's criticism of Formula One's newly-entrants US F1 and Campos Grand Prix was taken to a whole new level on Wednesday, as the F1 supremo made it very clear that he does not believe in those two teams making the starting grid of the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Additionally, the 79-year old Brit publicly expressed his support for Serbian outfit Stefan Grand Prix, a team which he promised he would personally back to make the entry list of the 2010 F1 championship. And that's not all. Since we're in the team-support discussion, he also urged his preferred team to sign Ralf Schumacher for the 2010 campaign.

I do not believe in the participation of USF1 and Campos. Instead, I have good contacts with Stefan GP and would like to give this team a good starting point. Ralf Schumacher would be the perfect driver for them; he knows the team and he has experience,” said Ecclestone, according to Germany's Sport Bild.

If the brother of 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher would to return to the series, he'll likely be expected to reduce his financial requirements, as compared to his last season in Formula One. As reported at the time, Ralf left the series as the highest-paid driver in the entire F1 paddock, something that would become impossible at Stefan GP.

With their position in the 2010 season of F1 almost secured, the Serbian team already confirmed that their first test prior to the new season will happen at the Portimao track, starting February 25. The drivers are to be announced in due time, but the team hinted that one of them already has a 2-year experience in Formula One (probably Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota's protege in F1 for the past 2 seasons).

Schumacher has been in touch with several teams for a potential return to F1 at the same time with his brother Michael, but admitted he hasn't signed anything yet. If the negotiations will reach a dead end, the German is likely to continue his DTM programme with Mercedes Benz in 2010.
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