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Ralf Schumacher pulls out of Italian Grand Prix 13 Sep 2003

Marc Gene (ESP) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 13 September 2003

Williams driver Ralf Schumacher has pulled out of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. His place has been taken by the team's test driver Marc Gene.

Schumacher complained of headaches over dinner at the Hotel de la Ville just outside the Monza park last night and was examined this morning by FIA medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins.

As a result, he was advised not to participate further in the meeting, due to a similar inner ear disorder to that which upset fellow Ralph, Firman's, equilibrium and also left him on the sidelines.

Schumacher sustained a concussion at Monza last week when his Williams crashed heavily at the second Lesmo corner in testing after a suspected suspension problem.

He nevertheless passed the necessary pre-race medicals in Italy and participated in Friday's opening practice session in Italy. He then failed to set a time in first qualifying after he braked too late and ran straight over one of Monza's high-speed chicanes.

Gene, who also stepped in for Schumacher at the Monza test, was back in the cockpit of the FW25 for Saturday's opening practice session and clocked a time just three hundredths of a second slower than Juan Pablo Montoya.

The Spaniard has 33 grand prix starts to his name after two seasons competing for Minardi in 1999 and 2000.