Ralf Schumacher has hinted that he could call time on his Formula 1 career after a difficult test with the Force India team at Jerez.

The former Williams and Toyota driver joined the former-Spyker squad on the third day of running in Spain as he became the latest driver to be given the chance to impress new team owner Vijay Mallya - with Tonio Liuzzi, Giancarlo Fisichella, Franck Montagny and Christian Klien having also taken to the track as the Silverstone-based outfit seeks a partner for Adrian Sutil for 2008.

However, the test proved to be far from straightforward for Schumacher with off-track excursions and mechanical issues meaning he ended his day of running at the bottom of the timesheets - with his time being the slowest of the five drivers to test for the team this week.

It has left Schumacher now evaluating his future options, admitting that it is unlikely he will chase a deal with the team.

"It looks like that was the last time I will drive a Formula One car," he was quoted by German newspaper Bild. "It is not expected that I will join Force India, I took on the test drive as an opportunity to prove myself."

"I would like to continue my career in F1, but it is not an obligation," he then added on television channel RTL. "I would like to continue, but I don't know if these are the right conditions."

Schumacher has already declared an interest in the vacant seat at McLaren following the departure of Fernando Alonso, although he is seen as having little more than an outside chance of partnering Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

 

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