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Another chance for Pizzonia? 05 Aug 2004

Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) Williams BMW. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 27 April 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton

Speculation in the German media suggests that Ralf Schumacher looks set to sit out the Hungarian Grand Prix, due to take place in Budapest, in just over a weeks time. Reports, last week, had indicated that Ralf would be able to take up his seat with the Williams team again and the man to miss out would have been test driver Antonio Pizzonia. However Pizzonia looks set to be given another race drive by the Grove team who are still looking to assert themselves in this year’s Championship.

Ralf has already signed to drive for the Toyota team next season, and has been forced to sit out the last three races following injuries sustained in a high-speed crash at the United States Grand Prix.

"Ralf's bone thickness was measured and it was established that the two broken vertebrae were not yet as hardened as is normally the case" Schumacher's manager, Willi Webber, told Germany's 'Bilt' newspaper.

The medical report also casts doubt on Ralf's fitness for the following race, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, which takes place on August 29th, leaving just four races for the rest of the season. With just 12 points in the Drivers' Championship, Ralf is already lying down in 11th place - and a prolonged absence is likely to reduce that position still further before the close of the season.

"I feel good," said Ralf himself, "but it's no doubt better for me to listen to the doctors".