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Schumacher to bid farewell to Toyota 01 Oct 2007

Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota during the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Sunday, 30 September 2007 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107 
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Saturday, 29 September 2007

Ralf Schumacher is to leave Toyota at the end of the season, he confirmed on Monday. Speaking in Shanghai, where he is preparing for his penultimate race with the Japanese team, Schumacher said he has decided to look for a new challenge.

Schumacher joined Toyota from Williams for the 2005 season, but has since enjoyed limited success, with three podiums his best results for the team. In a statement on his official website, the German admitted it had been an interesting, if somewhat frustrating three years.

"I joined Toyota with high expectations,” he 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 I am waiting for years for a competitive car."

He added: "Toyota also was a nice and interesting experience - particularly the cooperation with the team, engineers and mechanics. Still, it’s time now to look for a new challenge."

Concerning his future plans, Schumacher commented: “I'm going to have several conversations in the coming weeks. I will announce my decision when the season is over. For me, the financial aspect is far less important than the chance of being involved in the development of a car and being successful afterwards."

Schumacher, a six-time Grand Prix winner with Williams, has scored five points this season, his best result a sixth place in Hungary.