Ralf Schumacher Will Not Return to F1

Ralf Schumacher will not return to the Formula One championship in 2010. The German racer was rumored to sign a deal with potentially-entered team Stefan GP, but it has now emerged that he has other commitments during the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

According to Cologne newspaper Express, Daimler AG – for which Schumacher is currently driving an AMG Mercedes C-Klasse in the DTM series – the former Toyota racer is scheduled to “give expert race commentary for a gathering of the marque's guests and clients in Berlin, in mid-March,” as reported by the GMM news agency.

As it's quite impossible for him to fulfill those commitments and also take part in the Bahrain Grand Prix (scheduled between March 12-14), we're inclined to believe he has fallen out of the contention for a race seat with the Serbian team. We're not sure what the reason for that was exactly, but our guess is that his ski injury in January counted a lot in Zoran Stefanovic's decision to look elsewhere for a race driver.

Schumacher went skiing in Austria last month and injured himself during that vacation, after which he underwent surgery on his shoulder. Reportedly, the German wanted to keep the injury secret in order to not compromise his chances of making an F1 return, but it all came out during a media event in early February.

This could only mean good news for former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve, as the Canadian was the other big name linked with a drive with Stefan GP for 2010. Although the team is yet to receive an F1 entry for the 2010 season, it has announced it will confirm the drivers' lineup soon enough.

According to the latest press reports, Kazuki Nakajima and Jacques Villeneuve will most likely be confirmed later this week.
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