Another Schumacher coup?!
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher could be set to make a shock comeback with the new Mercedes-Benz GP team.
Having purchased a 75 per cent stake in the Brawn GP team that won this year’s constructors’ championship with the German car maker’s engines, Mercedes-Benz has been open about seeking at least one German racing driver for the rebranded outfit.
The available German drivers on the 2009 grid, Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld (with Timo Glock having recently been confirmed at Manor for 2010) have both been linked with the two seats available, and Rosberg is almost a certainty to sign with the new outfit having announced his departure from Williams.
Mercedes has always regretted never having a chance to run Schumacher in F1 in the McLaren F1 cars it has powered with much success since 1995. The closest it came was when former McLaren boss Ron Dennis admitted to having had serious discussions with Schumacher during the 2000 season.
Schumacher was on the verge of temporarily replacing the injured Felipe Massa in a Ferrari last season, only to be forced to abandon the plan due to a neck injury that he had not recovered from.
Schumacher, who will turn 41 in January, has retained an advisory role with Ferrari since retiring, though it has been reported the Italian marque no longer wants Schumacher as an advisor to its F1 team and instead wants him to only continue helping to develop its road cars.
New FIA President, Jean Todt, has also expressed his desire to have Schumacher by his side in some capacity within the FIA.
In response to the speculation, Schumacher’s long-time spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told Britain’s Autocar that "You never say never in this sport".
Schumacher would certainly be expected to sever his close ties with Ferrari entirely if he were to move to Mercedes, the car maker he drove for in sports cars before making his F1 break in 1991 with the Jordan F1 team.
I think someone is probably having a pipedream in their speculation, and as much as many would welcome Schumacher’s return, I highly doubt it would happen. But you can never say never!