More than half of Michael Schumacher’s German compatriots think the seven time world champion will return to retirement at the end of this year.
After three years of retirement, the 43-year-old returned to F1 in 2010 on a three-year Mercedes contract, which runs out in 2012.
SID news agency commissioned the German market research company Promit to carry out a survey as to whether respondents think Schumacher will quit at the end of this year. 55.4 per cent answered yes, while only 26.2 per cent said they think Schumacher should sign on for at least another season.
The winner of a record 91 grands prix has failed to see the chequered flag in three of the five races so far this year, finishing just tenth in both Malaysia and Bahrain. In contrast, teammate Nico Rosberg’s three top-seven finishes in 2012 included pole and victory in China, netting him 41 points compared with Schumacher’s 2 overall.
“I don’t think we can write him (Schumacher) off yet,” insisted Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary this week. “His pace hasn’t been bad and he started the season very well. (He) was unlucky in quite a few races, his wheel fell off when he was running second in China and could have had a big haul of points.
“He is making mistakes in wheel-to-wheel racing though. But if he gets a few decent finishes or even wins a race then we could see him continue (in 2013),” added Cary.