Michael Schumacher on Sunday moved to quash rumours he is set to return to retirement at the end of the season.
The Mercedes driver’s manager Sabine Kehm had already slammed an Italian website for apparently fabricating quotes that suggested Schumacher, 42, was considering his seat.
“These words reported on our website and our editorial staff didn’t know anything about it. When we noticed that news, we invited the website to remove it, which was done,” a Corriere dello Sport editor told 422race.com.
And at the Mercedes event called Stuttgarter Sternstunden at the weekend, Schumacher moved to end the speculation himself.
“I’ll certainly be racing next year, that is definite,” the seven time world champion said.
But Niki Lauda thinks Schumacher should quit.
“I have said that if Schumacher cannot make it work by the end of this year he should go, and I stand by it,” the triple world champion told the Osterreich newspaper.
Schumacher however hinted that he could stay even beyond his 2012 contract.
“We will have to see how things develop and how much energy and fun is still there,” he said.
Willi Weber, Schumacher’s former manager, is sure the winner of 91 races is not about to give up.
“He has started something and he will also see it to the end,” he is quoted by Die Welt.
Mercedes’ competition director Norbert Haug insists that Schumacher is still competitive.
“His speed in the last race was mostly on a par with Nico Rosberg,” he said. “He will continue and succeed.”