MAY 31, 2001
Ralf Schumacher's future
The Williams contracts of both Ralf and Montoya run out at the end of 2002 and Williams has Jenson Button on an option to take over in 2003 and 2004. This gives Williams the chance to keep its faster driver and put him up against Button. Montoya has impressed a lot of people in F1 and it is expected that he will get some serious offers in the future but Williams may want to move quickly and lock him in for another two or three years. This would mean that Schumacher would probably have to go, despite pressure from BMW for a German driver.
Williams is unlikely to be cajoled into signing up Ralf at the moment, preferring to see how things develop this year before committing to one driver or the other. This may mean that Ralf will end up on the market and in all probability he will be snapped up by McLaren or Jaguar Racing for 2003.