Brawn: Schumi decision 'soon'
Mercedes and seven-times Champion to decide future within the next six weeks
Last Updated: 04/07/12 10:39am
Mercedes will make a decision on Michael Schumacher's future within the next six weeks, according to Team Principal Ross Brawn.
The German's three-year contract with the team runs out at the end of this year and both parties have been coy thus far about whether or not the seven-times World Champion will stay on or retire.
However, Brawn said during the FOTA Fans' forum at Williams' headquarters on Tuesday night that they hope to decide Schumacher's future over the summer.
"We will make a decision this summer," Brawn is quoted as saying by Autosport.
"We have not talked in depth about the situation - but we know it is coming and we have to make a decision soon.
"I think it can be driven from many different ways. But this year Michael has driven the best of the three years he has been with us this time, and it has been frustrating when we should have seen better results on track but there have been problems on the car or the way we have dealt with the races.
"I think in the next six weeks or so we will have to think about what we want to do next year - and that is the primary decision. Once that decision is made we will then know if we have to start looking around or stick with the drivers we have."
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Schumacher earned the first podium finish of his comeback at the European Grand Prix but having also retired five times so far this season, he lies 58 points behind team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Drivers' Championship.
Paul di Resta has been rumoured as a possible replacement for the 43-year-old, with Force India's Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley making it clear that they would be open to negotiations.
"Vijay [Mallya] has said in the past that we know we are not a Championship-winning team at this point, and we know we have two good drivers in Nico [Hulkenberg] and Paul," Fernley said.
"If one was encouraged to join the top four we would have to sit down to effect a commercial arrangement. We would not get in the way of the career of a driver but there would have to be commercial agreement in place."