Ralf Schumacher's participation in next week's Williams-BMW test looked to be in doubt last night, after the German driver was admitted to hospital suffering from stomach pains.

Schumacher, who has tested regularly with his team over the winter, was taken to hospital in Austria after reporting the pains to a local doctor in Valencia, where the team is running this week. However, tests have since shown that the ailment is not as serious as was first feared, and Schumacher could return to the cockpit in Spain after a weekend of rest.

"He has seen his own doctors now and it's his lower stomach," a WilliamsF1 spokesman confirmed to Reuters, "He's been given something for it and he will be in the car again in Barcelona on Monday testing again."

Schumacher had been due to run with Williams on Thursday, but the stomach problem forced him to hand over his seat to former Jaguar driver Antonio Pizzonia. The Brazilian, unceremoniously dumped midway through his debut f1 season, then proceeded to set the fastest time of the day, setting a new lap record in the process.

 

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