Ralf Schumacher tested a Williams-BMW FW26 at Silverstone on Tuesday. He might return to racing at the Chinese Grand Prix, and could be joined by another old F1 face - Jacques Villeneuve.

Ralf Schumacher tested a Williams-BMW FW26 at Silverstone on Tuesday. He might return to racing at the Chinese Grand Prix, and could be joined by another old F1 face - Jacques Villeneuve.


The German, who has been unable to drive since fracturing two vertebrae in his back in an accident at the United States Grand Prix in June, will run for three days this week before making a final decision about whether he is fully fit for the Chinese Grand Prix.


He will undergo a fitness test with F1 medical delegate Sid Watkins in China before being allowed to race. The team will put Antonio Pizzonia on stand-by in case the German cannot compete.


CARtoday.com recently reported that Ralf had hoped to be back in the cockpit for the Italian Grand Prix, but his plans were scuppered when his insurance company refused to cover him, because it was within a 12-week window laid down after Indianapolis.


Meanwhile, Renault might replace the disenchanted Jarno Trulli with 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve for the last three grands prix of the 2004 F1 season in China, Japan and Brazil.


Sources close to Renault said the French team were negotiating with Trulli, who is believed to have secured a drive with Toyota next season, about details of his departure.


"A decision should be taken Wednesday," he added.


Villeneuve, who left BAR Honda last year before the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix, was at Silverstone where Renault were testing before flying to Shangai for the Chinese Grand Prix.


Reports say that if Villeneuve felt he was not ready then Renault might replace Trulli with French driver Frank Montagny.


The Canadian, who won the world championship in 1997, is also a possible replacement at Sauber for Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella, who will move to Renault next year.