Renault managing director Flavio Briatore has denied any agreement with Ralf Schumacher and his manager in regard to Schumacher racing for Renault next year. The German press quoted Willi Weber, manager to both Schumacher brothers, as saying details of a contract had been agreed on and signing was just a formality.
Renault was quick to release a statement refuting the supposed agreement: "I saw Willi Weber in Melbourne," said Briatore, "and we certainly talked to each other -- we are friends, so that is perfectly normal. However, at no time did we discuss, or have we discussed, a possible future for Ralf Schumacher in a Renault car."
Weber reportedly said if contract talks between Schumacher and Williams were not satisfactorily concluded by the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 4th, Schumacher would leave the team at the end of this season.
It's hardly unusual for teams to play the denial game where future contracts are concerned, so really it remains to be seen what will happen. Schumacher previously said his preferred choice was to stay with Williams and it may well be that Weber is just trying to force the team into an agreement.