Honda F1 website

SEPTEMBER 14, 2004

Ralf makes return to F1

Ralf Schumacher was very quick today in testing at the Silverstone circuit as he stepped back into a Formula One car for the first time since his crash in June at the United States Grand Prix.

Ralf completed 32 laps on a showery afternoon with a best time of 1:18.015 seconds, more than a second quicker than the second fastest man, McLaren test driver Alex Wurz in at 1:19.088.

"I couldn't be happier with today's test," said the 29-year-old Williams driver after the test.

"The most important thing was that I had no back pain at all, which helped me feel confident and push hard. Finishing the quickest today makes me feel very positive and I am also delighted with how the car has progressed since the middle of the season.

"I got up to speed very quickly and I was pleased to find that I could get the most out of the car's developments."

Williams technical director Sam Michael said at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix the team had missed Ralf and looked forward to having him back as they battle McLaren for fourth place in the championship.

Ralf, who is joining Toyota at the end of the season will be driving the last three remaining races with Williams-BMW, starting with the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix on September 26.