Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has insisted that his team won’t expedite its decision with Michael Schumacher over the seven-time World Champion’s future in the sport beyond the end of this season.
The German is in the final season of his three-year comeback deal with the team, and he’s yet to decide if he will remain on the F1 grid after the end of the current season.
“We won’t be rushed on the decision and when the time is appropriate we will announce what we are going to do. I don’t want to increase speculation by commenting on where we are,” Brawn told the Formla1.com website in an interview published overnight.
While his first two years showed the occasional flashes of speed in Mercedes’ less-than-competitive cars, he was still beaten in the Drivers’ Championship standings by team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The same fate looks to befall him in 2012, with Nico Rosberg claiming an emphatic maiden win at the Chinese Grand Prix. That being said, Schumacher has had the rough end of the bargain, with several mechanically-induced retirements. His two highlights have been being the fastest qualifier at the Monaco Grand Prix, and a long-awaited return to the podium at Valencia.
He currently sits 48 points behind Rosberg in the championship standings, with his younger compatriot on 77 points.
But Brawn won’t blame his drivers for the team’s lack of progress in the championship, with the Brackley-based squad currently lying a distant fifth in the Constructors’ Championship and coming under increasing threat from the resurgent Sauber squad in the points race.
“I want to do better. P5 is not our ambition and we will do anything possible to end better,” he continued, when asked about the team’s loss of form over the course of the season.
“There are still a lot of races to come with many more points to be won. We haven’t got the car quite as we wanted right now, but we have a very good team – very good people – so I am optimistic that we are going to have a stronger second half to the season than the first half.
“I think we are pleased with some of the achievements this year. We’ve won a race and had some strong podiums, and we’ve scored more points than we’d done this time last year.
“But, of course, we also feel that we are not quite where we want to be in terms of consistent competitiveness. We are still working on strengthening the team, strengthening the designs to be more competitive in the future.”