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Home > Sports > News > Reuters > Report

Renault deny Ralf deal

March 09, 2004 17:57 IST

The Renault Formula One team denied on Tuesday that they were negotiating to sign Ralf Schumacher from Williams.

Team boss Flavio Briatore, reacting to a report in Germany's Bild newspaper, said there had been no discussions about the German driver's future.

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"I saw (Schumacher's manager) Willi Weber in Melbourne," Briatore said in a statement, referring to Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix. "We certainly talked to each other -- we are friends, so that is perfectly normal.

"However at no time did we discuss, or have we discussed, a possible future for Ralf Schumacher in a Renault car."

Bild reported on Tuesday that Ralf, whose contract with Williams expires at the end of the year, could drive for Renault next year.

"We've reached an agreement with...Briatore on all major issues," it quoted Weber as saying. "Finalising a contract is merely a formality.

The paper also quoted Ralf as saying there would be a decision in the next few days.

Ralf, the younger brother of Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher, has been linked in the past to Toyota while seeking a new deal with BMW-powered Williams.

Williams' other driver, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, has already signed for McLaren in 2005. Renault are sure to keep young Spaniard Fernando Alonso but Italian Jarno Trulli's place at the team looks less secure.

Former Benetton boss Briatore and Weber have a long association dating back to Michael Schumacher's arrival at that team in 1991.

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