Michael Schumacher Backed For Management Role
- Formula 1
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn feels Michael Schumacher could take on a management role come the day he retires from driving for good.
Schumacher’s future continues to be the subject of speculation, with his three-year contract at Mercedes expiring at the end of the season.
The seven-time champion insists he is in no hurry to decide whether he will carry on, and is likely to give the German manufacturer an answer sometime next month.
Waiting in the wings is McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, whose management team have already held talks with Mercedes over a potential multi-million pound deal from next year.
Should Schumacher quit again – as he did in 2006 before coming out of retirement at the start of the 2010 season – Brawn believes the 43-year-old has a role to play behind the scenes at Mercedes.
“It is possible,” said Brawn. “There will be a day he does stop. We are not discussing that in detail because that is not a consideration at the moment.
“But Michael’s experience of motor racing, his judgment and so on, would be an asset to any team.
“I am not sure he wants a day-to-day commitment that some of us do, but he would like to stay involved, he loves the sport, he loves racing, he loves developing the cars, how the team works.
“So I can full well see in the future that he would retain a strong interest. That will come one day, and I do hope it will be with us.”
As for Brawn’s own future, he insists he is fully committed to seeing through a project that began at the end of 2009, when Mercedes took over his eponymous team in the wake of their double title triumph.
With new engine rules due to be introduced from 2014, Brawn is curious to see how they could alter the F1 landscape.
“I am not planning to retire at the moment,” he said.
“I am very excited about this 2014 engine programme. I think it is quite a game-changer in F1.
“I still have a strong engineering passion, so having such a different engine and different package in 2014 is exciting and developing the team is exciting.
“For how long, who knows? But I have no interest in stopping in the near future.
Meanwhile, Martin Whitmarsh has surprisingly revealed there is no plan B should Lewis Hamilton decide to quit McLaren.
It would appear McLaren’s team principal is placing all his eggs in one basket, firmly believing Hamilton will not walk out on a team that has taken care of his career for the last 14 years.
The Italian Grand Prix weekend was a reminder to Hamilton – if it were ever needed – of just how good his life is at McLaren, even if he believes he has not won the number of titles his talent deserves with the Woking-based marque.
It was a reminder to Whitmarsh, too, he has one of the top three drivers in the world on his books and the team should do everything within their financial means to hold on to him.
The 27-year-old was flawless in Monza, following up the 23rd pole of his F1 career with his 20th victory to close the gap on championship leader Fernando Alonso to 37 points with seven grands prix remaining.
It led to Whitmarsh describing as “fantasy” the suggestions made by former team principal Eddie Jordan last week that Hamilton had already signed for rivals Mercedes and an announcement of the deal was imminent.
But there are no guarantees Hamilton will stay as it is known his management company, impresario Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, are talking to Mercedes.
So when asked as to a back-up plan should Hamilton opt not to renew his contract, Whitmarsh replied: “I haven’t given plan B any thought.
“We want Lewis to stay, and we want him to stay if he wants to stay” he said.