Ralf Schumacher's efforts to return to the grand prix grid have led to him entering negotiations with Serbian-based F1 2010 hopeful Stefan GP, according to reports.

German weekly news magazine Focus claims that the 34-year-old is bidding to mirror his elder and more successful brother Michael in rejoining the fray at the highest level, having departed the field at the end of 2007 when he cut his ties with Toyota and was unable to secure another drive.

Since then, Schumacher has gone on to ply his trade in pan-European touring car series the DTM - albeit with limited success, tallying just twelve points from two campaigns with Mercedes-Benz, despite benefitting from a 2009-spec C-Class last year, with which similarly-equipped team-mates Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta and Bruno Spengler totalled respectively 59, 45 and 41 points at the upper end of the table.

Having recently confessed his interest in re-igniting an F1 career that has hitherto brought him six grand prix victories with Williams, the German has now reportedly met with Stefan GP owner Zoran Stefanovic, who after purchasing Toyota's ready-designed 2010 chassis, engine and gearbox is hoping to be granted an entry either this year should any of the four new teams fail to make the grade, or in 2011.

Of the newcomers, there have been serious doubts expressed regarding the likelihood of both USF1 and Campos being present for the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir in just under two months' time, whilst Stefan GP's S-01 has already successfully passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests.