Six times grand prix winner Ralf Schumacher could be on his way out at Williams, after it was revealed that contract negotiations between himself and team boss, Sir Frank Williams, have turned sour.

Ralf's contract with Williams expires at the end of 2004, however no renewal has yet been agreed, despite the fact that Williams have already lost Juan Pablo Montoya to rivals McLaren.

It was thought that this and the fact BMW are keen to have a German driver would clinch an early deal, however, Frank Williams is believed to have become fed up with the delays.

A source close to the Oxfordshire based team, reportedly told Bild: "Frank's patience is at an end."

According to reports by the German tabloid newspaper, Ralf is demanding $15 million per year when his current deal expires, Williams meanwhile are prepared only to pay $9 million.

Ralf told the newspaper: "My goal for 2005 is of course to have a better contract than the current one. I am happy with the BMW WilliamsF1 team, however there are other strong teams too."

How much of this is fact, and how much is just paper talk remains to be seen, however Williams are not a good team to play hardball with, as Nigel Mansell and several other ex-Williams drivers will verify.

So a new driver line-up at Williams in 2005 then? Stranger things have happened...



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