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Wednesday, 14 June, 2000, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Schumacher hopeful for Montreal

Ralf Schumacher in Monaco moments before he crashed
Ralf Schumacher is "optimistic" of being fit to drive in this Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix despite suffering a serious cut to his leg during the last race in Monaco.

The German driver was ordered to rest after sustaining a ten-centimetre gash in his left calf muscle after hitting a crash barrier at Sainte Devote corner.

It had been suggested the 24-year-old may have to prove his fitness for the Montreal race by undergoing the so-called "Zonta test" - which involves jumping off a chair!

The test was devised by Formula One's medical chief Professor Sid Watkins and named after Brazilian Ricardo Zonta on his return from injury last year.

'Optimistic'

Drivers have to jump off a chair onto the injured leg and suffer no undue reaction to prove that they can withstand the rigours of a long race.

However, WilliamsF1 media manager Nav Sidhu said the nature of Ralf's injury meant he would not have to go through the unusual fitness test.

Mr Sidhu explained: "It is a good test to see how strong the leg is but in Ralf's case we are not going to do this.

"His injury is a cut, which has had stitches and been rested, and had constant medical attention.

"I spoke to Ralf on Wednesday and he is optimistic of driving. His leg has improved considerably during the past few days.

"We still have more than 24 hours before we need to make a decision."

Schumacher missed testing at Monza in Italy in the run-up to Montreal and Brazilian Bruno Junqueira - who missed the Williams berth in a drive-off with Jenson Button - stood in for him.

Should the unlikely happen and Schumacher is declared unfit, Junqueira will take his place in the Williams car.

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