No sooner has Ralf Schumacher begun a new relationship with Toyota than he is getting into bed, so to speak, with a new sponsor, having teamed up with 'intimate goods' retailer Beate Uhse.

The German, who negotiated a divorce from long-term partner Williams during the 2004 campaign, has teamed up with the company to promote its range of sex toys, magazines and lingerie in Slovenia. The arrangement is part of a E2million development by the company, which has seen its Austrian revenues double in the past two years, and now intends to expand into Slovenia with the opening of up to eight shops.

Schumacher's involvement arose thanks to a mutual contact shared with Beate Uhse's Hans-J?rg Reinhart, but the German star intends to be no more than a 'silent partner' in the expansion, telling German's Die Bild, that he is treating his investment like any he would have made in other companies.