Schumacher to leave Toyota F1 team at end of season

Updated: October 1, 2007, 11:34 AM ET
Associated Press

Ralf Schumacher


STUTTGART, Germany -- Ralf Schumacher will leave Toyota's Formula One team at the end of the season.

"After three years with Toyota, I've decided to look for a new challenge," Schumacher wrote on his Web site Monday. "I'll be having some talks in the next few weeks and then announce my decision."

Schumacher is the younger brother of seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.

The younger Schumacher announced his decision with two races left in the season, in Shanghai, China, and Sao Paolo, Brazil. After 15 Grand Prix races, he has only five points and is 14th in the drivers' standings.

Unfortunately, I have been waiting for years for a competitive car.

-- Ralf Schumacher

Schumacher drove 51 races for Toyota but never won a Grand Prix in the Japanese car. The last of his six wins goes back to July, 6, 2003, when he still drove for Williams.

"I came to Toyota with great expectations," Schumacher said. "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 unfortunately, I have been waiting for years for a competitive car," Schumacher said on his Web site.

The 32-year-old German did not finish Sunday's Grand Prix in Japan, and his future in Formula One could be in doubt.

"Toyota was still a nice and interesting experience," Schumacher said. "But it's time now to look for something new."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press