Brawn: Decision for Michael to stay or not is a difficult one

Michael Schumacher after his shunt in Singapore

Michael Schumacher after his shunt in Singapore

Sep.27 (Reuters) Mercedes faces a difficult decision over Michael Schumacher’s future in Formula One and discussions are on-going with the seven-time world champion, team principal Ross Brawn said on Thursday.

Michael Schumacher accident crash in SingaporeThe 43-year-old German, the sport’s most successful driver, who ended three years of retirement to come back in 2010 with Mercedes, is out of contract at the end of the season.

The British-based team are reportedly keen to lure Lewis Hamilton from McLaren, although the pendulum of paddock speculation has swung back towards saying that he will stay at McLaren.

Critics of Schumacher, winner of a record 91 grands prix, say that he is showing his age and is a shadow of the man who dominated the early years of the century with Italian glamour team Ferrari.

Germany’s mass circulation Bild newspaper suggested that Schumacher was too old for F1 and questioned his reaction times after he crashed into the back of Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso in Singapore at the weekend.

That blunder, one of several this season, earned Schumacher a 10-place grid penalty for next week’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP and Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes GP Team Principal.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday 27 August 2011.“It’s still under discussion, I’m afraid,” Brawn, who helped Schumacher to win all his titles at Benetton and then Ferrari where he was technical director, told BBC radio when asked about the driver’s future.

“Michael has been a huge asset to the team, he’s really taken us forward. I do think Michael contributes an awful lot, so I think the decision for Michael to stay or not is a difficult one,” he added.

“Obviously he’s very involved in that decision, and discussions are ongoing at the moment.”

Germany’s Nico Rosberg has a contract with Mercedes for next year so the team are waiting for 2008 champion Hamilton.

If the 27-year-old Briton opts to stay with McLaren, Mercedes must decide whether to extend Schumacher’s contract or replace him with an up-and-coming young driver such as Force India’s Paul Di Resta.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP Singapore GP accidentDi Resta won the German touring car championship with Mercedes and shares a manager with Britain’s Jenson Button, who won the 2009 title with Brawn GP – the team that became Mercedes GP.

The Scot has yet to stand on the Formula One podium but did finish fourth in Singapore.

Schumacher has had only one podium finish, in Valencia this year, since he returned to the cockpit and has had seven retirements in 14 races in 2012.

Rosberg won in China, the first victory by a Mercedes works team since 1955, but has also been outqualified by Schumacher 8-6 so far on Saturdays.

Red Bull‘s double world champion Sebastian Vettel, Schumacher’s compatriot and friend, said this month after the veteran’s 300th race that the German was still a true fighter on the track and “hasn’t lost it”.

Brawn indicated that an announcement could still be some weeks away but said that Mercedes is an ambitious team. Of Hamilton, he said: “He’s a very good driver…a very good driver.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • VEne

    if michael leaves. brawn leaves too.

  • Lauda Fan

    So Schuh’s future is to be decided by Hamy? Stay at McLaren Lew. You will not be forgiven if you shove Michael Schumacher out of F1 just for the Mercedes megabucks. A pox on your house if you do Mr. Lewis Hamilton…

  • Lol.

    Schumi could get pushed out by just about anybody.

    Hulk, Di Resta, Perez, Kovy… there are many better drivers out there.

  • Nichole

    Old man Lauda why dont you take a hike, he is the one who is trying to push michael out, jealous old bas……………… He likes little b………….boys like lewis. By getting rid of michael he hopes to get a job at mercedes. The best place for you is the home-for-the-aged. Lewis will have hell to pay if he joins mercedes and Michael has to go. Death to you lewis. crawl back between your pa ron dennis. ungrateful little b…………..boy.

  • Nichole

    Old Man Lauda is the one behind Michael’s exit. He is pushing for lewis to join mercedes so that he too can get a job there. He has always been jealous of Michael. Old man the best place for you is the home-for-the-aged. as for lewis you better stick with Mclaren else you are going to pay dealrly, imagine using a little b…………boy to oust the legend of F1. Mercedes is responsible for Michael’s demise, even Nico has not been successful, except one gp thanks to michael. Braw is a jerk for making a joke of michael. Haug is a greed old bastard. Shame for germany. Death to you Lewis.

  • AlsoRan

    Forget Louda,
    Shu should realize on his own that his F1 gig is up.
    Allow younger, faster and more talented drivers to move up.
    Sure, continue racing, but in a different competitive environment
    as Kimi and Robert did.

  • A41202813@GMAIL.COM

    Death Threats Are Just Stupid.

    I Would Love ROSBERG To Retire.

    After MONZA 2011 I Would Love If LEWIS And MICHAEL Were In The Same Team.

    Did I Mention Death Threats Are Just Stupid ?

    AGGRESSIVE RACERS, FOREVER !

  • A41202813@GMAIL.COM

    Besides, SAUBER Said He Would Sign MICHAEL In A Heartbeat.

    Did I Mention Death Threats Are Just Stupid ?

    AGGRESSIVE RACERS, FOREVER !

  • Kimi4WDC

    Not sure what is so difficult in such decision. Unless Michael pondering upon spending more time with family, he is by far superior to most of the driver on the grid, racing wise.

    I doubt Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton would be exited to compete with Michael on a same machinery.

  • Hawk

    who is Nichole? where have you been bitch? psychopath.. who are you threatening with death you miserable wimp? just crawl back to the hole you came from?

    and those stuck with worshipping Michael, how can you compare him to Alonso, Lewis, Vettel..? you can only compare him to average drivers but not even any of them will start running into other cars on the grid or drive like he did in Spa with Vettel.. Man that guy has lost it. And its only the naïve ones who did not know that all along his contract was pending because of Lewis, as early as June. But right now as we write, its not only Lewis Mercedes is looking at, they are sure to dump MSC.. so many better drivers out there.

    and I was a fan of MSC till he retired, but I am young and dynamic, I move on..

  • muddles

    Nichols posts should be removed.
    A sane person does not make ridiculous statements like those posted.

  • Speedo

    Granted Schumaker is a good driver having won WDC many times over. But! He has been very aggressive forcing drivers off track during those days, ask Damon Hill. He would not have got away with it with the rules that are in place today with the stewards. One stark instance after his come back was when he almost sent Rubens into the wall on the wide track. If Schumaker loses his seat it his own making.

  • psych4191

    @AlsoRan

    umm… this is nothing like Kimi and Robert.

    Kimi became so indifferent and tired of the bullshit that he took a break from it all. Robert almost lost his arm.

    Neither were pushed out because they weren’t good enough. Far from it.