Schumacher signs new deal with Williams

RALF SCHUMACHER confirmed on Friday that he has extended his contract with Williams to the end of the 2004 season.

German Schumacher, 25, has been with the team since the 1999 season when he joined from Jordan. The younger brother of World Champion Michael has been rewarded by Williams after winning his first two races this season in San Marino and Canada.

Team chief Sir Frank Williams said: "This is a very sound decision taken by the team which we are confident will prove to be correct time and again in the future.

"This signals our intent to continue the progress we have made together over the last two and a half years towards our World Championship ambitions."

Schumacher said: "I am very happy we have reached this agreement to extend everything until 2004.

"I am looking forward to the continuation of the successful partnership of Williams, BMW and Michelin, and I believe we will reach all our targets together."

Williams has said many times that he believes Schumacher has the potential to become a world champion.

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