Willi Weber, the manager of both Michael and Ralf Schumacher, believes that the younger sibling will become the next F1 world champion - possibly as soon as next year.

Willi Weber, the manager of both Michael and Ralf Schumacher, believes that the younger sibling will become the next F1 world champion - possibly as soon as next year.


"Ralf will be the next world champion," Weber told . "The Williams-BMW team has made a major step this year and one thing's for certain... when Ralf has won two or three championships with Williams - and I'm convinced that he will do so - he will have the chance of choosing the team he will be racing for in the future."


Ralf was in the running for this year's title until a crash in testing forced him to miss the Italian Grand Prix. For its part, Williams-BMW led the constructors' championship from Ferrari for much of the season and Juan-Pablo Montoya was in the running for the drivers' title until the penultimate race at Indianapolis.


Meanwhile, Ralf has yet to confirm his contract with Williams but his current agreement runs until the end of next year.


"The contract might have been signed in Japan, but (team boss) Frank Williams was ill and didn't travel to Suzuka," said Weber. "But there is no need to hurry as the contract runs until the end of the 2004 season."


Ralf is confident that Williams can put a stop to Ferrari's string of (four drivers', five constructors') title wins: "It is said that a team can only beat Ferrari if the team is on the same level at the end of the season before," the German said. "I believe that we are already better than Ferrari. A good omen for 2004."

Original article from Car