Schumacher open to new contract beyond 2012 image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) Michael Schumacher is not ruling out staying in formula one beyond the end of his current contract.

Mercedes’ Norbert Haug at the weekend said he can imagine teaming up with the famous seven time world champion in 2013 “If Michael wants it and we can agree on a right price”.

Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm responded to Bild newspaper: “Of course we are open to discussions, because with the team we feel very good.

“Michael is totally motivated and is able to give F1 a lot more,” she added.

By the end of 2013, Schumacher will be approaching his 45th birthday, but the great German’s doctor Johannes Peil said age is not an obstacle.

“Michael is so fit,” he insisted, “he could still be driving at 50.”

Perhaps the key to Schumacher’s willingness to re-sign beyond 2012 is the better performance of the Mercedes team, following a disappointing return to F1 last year.

Until very recently, the new W02 was a second off the pace but last week at Barcelona “We made the big step we had calculated”, admitted a relieved Haug.

“We took a giant step forwards,” confirmed Schumacher’s teammate Nico Rosberg, who admitted that Schumacher’s best laptime in Barcelona with the upgrade package showed that the W02 is “very fast”.

“Even if the time was with low fuel, it surprised us. And many others, I am sure,” said Red Bull’s reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.

But Haug told the SID news agency: “I don’t see us as the favourites; that is going to take a while yet.”