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Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 06:51 GMT 07:51 UK
Ralf recovering from crash
US GRAND PRIX
Ralf Schumacher's car comes to rest in the middle of the track following his crash
1 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
3 T Sato (BAR)
4 J Trulli (Renault)
5 O Panis (Toyota)
6 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
7 D Coulthard (McLaren)
8 Z Baumgartner (Minardi)
Ralf Schumacher could be fit for the French Grand Prix despite a heavy crash at Indianapolis on Sunday.

The BMW Williams driver was sent to hospital for a precautionary brain scan after slamming backwards into the wall on the fastest part of the track.

But Dr Mario Theissen, BMW's motorsport director, said the German could still race at Magny-Cours on 4 July.

"He will stay overnight in the hospital and tomorrow (Monday) he has to decide what to do," said Theissen.

Schumacher received treatment in his car for 10 minutes before being taken to the circuit's medical centre and then on to hospital in Indianapolis.

Initially, team head Frank Williams thought Schumacher would be hospitalised for "several days".

He said he could move all his bones, he reported a back pain so he was quite okay talking to me
Dr Mario Theissen

"He is in a lot of pain," said Williams. "Everything works, his stomach is a bit upset, pretty bruised but he's basically sound.

"I think he'll probably be there for several days on my interpretation of what I've heard so far."

Schumacher missed the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last September after a similarly high-speed crash in testing at the circuit left him struggling to overcome concussion.

Theissen said it was too early to evaluate Schumacher's condition.

"I went to see him in the medical centre, I talked to him," said Theissen. "He said he could move all his bones, he reported a back pain so he was quite okay talking to me.

"I cannot really judge on the impact of such an accident.

"I think if the racing driver is ready to race, it is obvious that he will race. If not, we have to see what to do."

He's got to get back in the car and drive as soon as possible
Niki Lauda

Williams have an official reserve driver in Spaniard Marc Gene, who is eager to be considered as a replacement for departing Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.

Meanwhile, three-times world champion Niki Lauda has urged Schumacher, who won in France last year, to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible.

"A driver of his calibre should be able to forget about something like this pretty quickly as long as he's not seriously hurt," said the Austrian.

"He's got to get back in the car and drive as soon as possible. As long as there's no pain he's got to start driving right away.

"He might have some muscle pain but that's something that can be taken care of fairly easily."




SEE ALSO
Button annoyed at failure
20 Jun 04  |  Formula One
Schumi relieved over Ralf
20 Jun 04  |  Formula One
Raikkonen rues lost podium
20 Jun 04  |  Formula One
F1 eyes race in New York
20 Jun 04  |  Formula One


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