Michael Schumacher’s manager has answered speculation about the seven time world champion’s future by saying “Anything is possible”.
Replaced at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton for 2013, 43-year-old Schumacher is now seriously linked with a switch to Sauber. Schumacher’s current manager is Sabine Kehm, who has been spotted recently in conversation with the Swiss team’s chiefs Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn.
But Schumacher’s well-known former manager, Willi Weber, said that if he was still in charge, “I would get in a car immediately and go and talk to Luca (di Montezemolo) at Maranello.”
Insiders, however, think a return to Ferrari for Schumacher is not credible, and even Kaltenborn has doubts about the Hinwil link, even though Sauber needs to replace the McLaren-bound Sergio Perez.
“Of course, these are lovely thoughts, and of course we have to think about getting a seven time world champion when there’s one on the market,” she told Bild newspaper. “But Michael has only ever been with large manufacturer teams that you really cannot compare to us.”
Manager Kehm insisted: “Michael is not short of opportunities. It’s just that at the moment it is far too early to talk about anything specific.”
Niki Lauda was an architect of Schumacher’s succession by Lewis Hamilton, because while he thinks the great German is still good enough for F1, “I doubt he can always be competing against Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton anymore”, he told FAZ newspaper.
Kaltenborn said the issue of Perez’s successor is not likely to be settled before Suzuka. She wished Perez well for his big McLaren move, but did express some frustration.
“We have to be an attractive platform for the drivers,” said Sauber chief executive Kaltenborn. “It’s the only way to stop us developing drivers and then losing them to the competition. We have made the first step this season,” she explained, referring to the Swiss team’s stellar 2012.