Ralf Schumacher appears to have put a full stop to rumours that he may be considering following elder brother Michael back into F1, claiming he is happy with his new life in the DTM.
The German enjoyed eleven seasons in the top flight, racing with the likes of Jordan, Williams and Toyota, but found himself left out in the wilderness ahead of the 2008 campaign when, after quitting the Japanese manufacturer, he found doors shutting all around him. Possible rides with McLaren, Toro Rosso and Force India all came to nought, and it appeared that he may have to spend the year on the sidelines before Mercedes rescued his career by offering a ride in the DTM.
Now, five years into his touring car phase, Schumacher insists that he is happy in his new surroundings, despite no doubt feeling pangs of envy at seeing his elder brother enjoying a similar relationship with the Three Pointed Star taking him ever closer to new benchmarks in F1.
“The issue is settled,” he claimed when asked whether he could be tempted to follow Michael back into grands prix racing, “I feel happy in my team, it's like a family – and, besides, driving in the DTM is 'fun'.
“An F1 car is the ultimate driving pleasure, completely designed aerodynamically, and [the DTM car] lacks the F1 car's performance, [so] I started from scratch again, which was really hard for me. [However] last season, I was on the podium twice - once in second, once in third. Without these positions, I would have also been thinking about an end to the DTM, but it seems to be working.”
The driver once dubbed 'Rolex Ralf', after an early tabloid interview made too much of his first watch purchase after moving into the rarefied atmosphere of F1, claimed six wins in his grand prix career, all from a six-year spell at Williams, but also respectably represented both Jordan and Toyota during a 180-race career.