Schumie: 'Time for reflection'
'IS YOUR SEAT TAKEN?' Mercedes' Michael Schumacher (left) and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton during a media conference ahead of he 2012 Monaco F1 GP. Image: AP
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
LONDON, England - Michael Schumacher could play a role with Mercedes in 2013 but will probably take time to consider his options after losing his F1 race seat to Lewis Hamilton, principal Ross Brawn said on Friday.
Mercedes had announced that Hamilton, McLaren's 2008 champion, had signed a three-year deal and will replace 43-year-old Schumacher in 2013.
TIME FOR REFLECTION
The news signalled the end of Schumacher's unremarkable comeback but Mercedes refrained from saying the seven-times World champion would retire.
"I think Michael's going to take a few months to reflect on things, to decide what to do," Brawn told Reuters TV in an interview at the team's factory in central England. "He's been undecided for some time.
"There are opportunities within the team, within Mercedes, for Michael to stay involved in some capacity and he's particularly interested in developing high-performance cars."
Sauber has a vacancy since Mexican Sergio Perez was announced as McLaren's replacement for 27-year-old Hamilton but it remains to be seen how much interest there is in signing a driver believed by some to be too old for the sport.
Brawn said the situation with Hamilton had evolved over several months after starting early in the year "in a relaxed way" with Schumacher informed at every stage. "There's always huge pressure on us to perform and having a driver of Lewis's calibre in the team may intensify that pressure," he added.
"We want him to contribute much more than just driving a car, we want him to be an integrated member of a team, we want him to contribute with the engineers, we want him to motivate the people, we want him to really become an intrinsic part of the team - I think that's what appealed to Lewis."