Mercedes pair hint 2012 lineup not changing image

( Mercedes looks set to contest next year’s world championship with its current driver lineup.

There have been rumours that while Nico Rosberg is linked with a switch to a top-3 team, Michael Schumacher might end his formula one comeback at the end of 2011.

“We thought we would be right at the front this year,” German Rosberg told Bild newspaper in a joint interview with Schumacher.

“But this is also an exciting situation, to build together a successful future. Sitting in the Silver Arrow is an honour and the thought of winning in one is something special. It is worth it to be patient,” he said.

Seven time world champion Schumacher was also asked for how much longer his pairing with 26-year-old Rosberg will last.

“I can’t say. But, anyway, I’ll be here next year.”

Added Rosberg: “I would like to repeat myself that I feel very, very happy here. But I never talk publicly about contractual issues.”

It also seems likely that the driver pairings at top-3 teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will remain static for a near-unprecedented third consecutive season in 2012.