After Heikki Kovalainen, Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil, the latest name to be linked with Fernando Alonso's vacated McLaren-Mercedes seat in 2008 comes from altogether more unexpected quarters.

According to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Ralf Schumacher has put himself forward for the drive, after being evicted from Toyota in favour of GP2 Champion Timo Glock. Though the 32-year-old's form this year was disappointing as he found himself routinely out-performed by team-mate Jarno Trulli and notched up a meagre five points, he is adamant his F1 career is not over yet.

"It's no secret that the seat at McLaren-Mercedes is by far the most coveted there is," Schumacher - younger brother of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael - told the paper.

"Every driver out there in the market would love to sit in their super car."

Schumacher has won six grands prix over the course of his eleven-year career in the top flight, but as he approaches 2008 the only team that has thus far shown an interest in procuring his services is Force India (formerly Spyker), for whom he is due to test at Jerez early next month.

McLaren have yet to decide who will partner Lewis Hamilton at the Woking-based outfit next year, but are believed to prefer a younger driver. Whilst Kovalainen is still seen as the favourite for the seat, Williams have repeatedly insisted Rosberg is not for sale.

Alonso left the team two years before his three-year contract was due for renewal, following an acrimonious campaign characterised by repeated differences of opinion with boss Ron Dennis and team-mate Hamilton. It is widely expected the Spaniard will return to former team Renault next season, with whom he won both his world championships.

What do you think? Does Ralf Schumacher stand a chance of driving for McLaren next year, or should he walk away from F1 gracefully?

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