Schumacher Jr tipped as McLaren tester

RALF SCHUMACHER, brother of double World Champion Michael, is tipped to become McLaren's new test driver when the current incumbent Jan Magnussen leaves the team to become one of the drivers of the new Stewart Grand Prix operation.

Schumacher Jr will be a popular choice with McLaren's engine supplier Mercedes-Benz, which has been keen on having a German driver in the team.

Schumacher has been looking for an F1 test drive for 1997 for some months while racing in Formula Nippon - the Japanese version of Formula 3000. He is currently leading the championship.

Ralf, who is managed by his brother's mentor Willy Weber, has been racing since 1993. He finished runner-up in the German Formula 3 series to Sauber test driver Norberto Fontana in 1995, and the pair are continuing their rivalry this year in Japan - where both have won races in Formula Nippon.

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