MARCH 31, 2004

Ralf and Toyota

As we have been reporting for some time, Ralf Schumacher is on the verge of signing a huge new deal with Toyota for the 2005-2009 seasons. The Sun newspaper in London is reporting that a deal is close with Ralf earning $20m a year. Our sources say that the deal is actually worth more than that with the starting figure being $21m and the deal increasing each year to around $30m a year by 2009. In total Ralf will end up being paid something like $110m if the five year deal runs its course.

It is hard to understand why Toyota feels the need to pay this kind of money as Ralf's only other offer at the moment is from Williams and that is for a deal which would be worth $6m a year. Having said that Toyota bosses may have been convinced that in order to maximise the deal it needs a long contract to build up the team and make the most of any success in the important German market.