Former grand prix winner Jacky Ickx has tipped Michael Schumacher to keep racing beyond 2012.
The seven time world champion’s future is the subject of intense speculation, as his three-year comeback contract with Mercedes runs to its end.
“Despite his age he maintains the passion of a young one,” Belgian Ickx, who won 8 grands prix in the 60s and 70s, said on Wednesday. “He clearly still enjoys driving and with a little more luck he would be on the podium more often this year,” the 67-year-old added. “I can see Schumacher playing a good role in the coming season,” Ickx, the championship runner-up in 1969 and 1970, is quoted by SID news agency.
If Schumacher does not stay in 2013, Force India driver Paul di Resta is expected to secure the seat. Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn said this week a decision can be expected within six weeks.
German Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said on Wednesday: “We won’t participate in a public discussion about time periods, background or preferences,” she told DPA news agency.
“I can only repeat that we will communicate the decision along with the team when it comes.”