Ross Brawn will turn his attention to Michael Schumacher’s expiring contract in the middle of next season. Mercedes’ other driver Nico Rosberg has already inked a new deal beyond next year, but there have been questions about Schumacher’s desire to keep racing and also speculation linking Kimi Raikkonen to the seat in 2013.
“We have a contract (with Schumacher) for next year and if he is happy then I see no reason why we cannot continue with an agreement in 2013 as well,” team boss Brawn told Italy’s Autosprint magazine.
The Brackley based team has finished 2011 fourth in the constructors’ standings, but the W02 car was below the German marque’s expectations.
Asked what went wrong, Brawn answered: “We thought it was important to have a rather short wheelbase but the reality with the exhaust systems showed that we were not right. So we did not start with the right basis.”
Schumacher’s former boss at Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo is not sure the 42-year-old German is the right man for Mercedes.
“This last two seasons has not been about a driver (Schumacher) representing modern motoring,” he told the La Politica nel Pallone programme. “He made the choice to come back, and I don’t think he had a competitive car, but to me it’s a shame that a champion like him is not even on the podium. I would wish to see him close the second phase of his sporting life with a much greater satisfaction.”