Schumacher future in F1 remains uncertain despite podium 26 June, 2012 Jun.26 (GMM) Even the end of a 2000 day wait for a podium is not enough to curb the speculation about Michael Schumacher’s future in Formula One, and with Mercedes in particular. Although it was possible in part by Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton’s misfortunes at Valencia on Sunday, the seven time world champion’s return to the podium was an emotional moment for the German. Veteran engineer and manager Joan Villadelprat, who worked with Schumacher at Benetton years ago, admitted he watched the 43-year-old’s celebrations through “blurred eyes”. It was Schumacher’s 156th career podium, but he was so excited on Sunday that he forgot the old routine and spoke in English when asked to address his fans in his native tongue in the official post-race press conference. Realising his mistake, he roared with laughter and then started again, “maybe in German now”. Asked if the emotion of the moment was the reason he decided to return to F1 from retirement, Schumacher agreed: “Yeah, it’s those moments that definitely you enjoy deeply. “The team and myself have been criticised here and there, particularly lately, and this is the best way to answer and therefore I’m proud, thankful and very excited.” So with a podium now in his pocket, is it the right time to think about a new contract for 2013? “If I may apologise, I have no further news on that matter,” Schumacher insisted, “so give me the time that I need and we will see.” Triple world champion Niki Lauda said his fellow F1 great is still on top of his game. “His qualifying at Monaco was world class, and as we saw in Valencia, he is still one of the fastest if everything fits,” he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper. Subbed by AJN. Related NewsSchumacher: It’s a wonderful feeling to be back after such a long timeSchumacher: Where did we finish? Third, that’s podium. I can’t believe that!Mercedes: We had better potential than we showedHaug: I feel sorry for Michael, the team can do a better jobMercedes: Long runs under race conditions looked consistentMercedes boosts Schumacher’s team for ValenciaSchumacher, Raikkonen or Grosjean eighth winner of the year?Rosberg: I have a feeling we could win every raceEuropean Grand Prix: Mercedes preview ValenciaHamilton: It’s been a pretty crazy weekend alex i hope michael stays and i think he will because he is still the best Duke Michael Schumacher will stop when HE wants to,no one would dare push him out of the team. I think the whole World of F1 (apart from MW!!! whistle blower & podium nicker!))will want him to stay as he is such a huge part of the World of F1. Michael Schumacher is F1 F1 is Michael Schumacher. You cannot separate them. Lauda Fan To force Schuh out now to make way for some lesser driver (albeit younger) would force me to hate Mercedes Benz for rest of my life. Schumacher can still breath fire as Niki Lauda points out with his stunning pole at Monte Carlo 4 wks ago. Now that he’s got his mojo back let the man show the world once more that he’s the best. And it must be with Mercedes Benz and Ross Brawn, his longtime friend and mentor.