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Mercedes team chief Ross Brawn on Friday said he had not ruled out the possibility of former seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher taking a management job with the team next year.
Brawn, besieged by questions about Schumacher's future amid speculation that the German may be poised to retire for a second time, said he had an open mind.
Television pundit and former Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan this week claimed that Schumacher had already decided to retire and was to be replaced by 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton, currently with McLaren.
All involved with that report have denied that any decisions have been taken with Schumacher, 43, insisting that he was going to make his decision about next year, the third of his comeback, in October.
“IT IS POSSIBLE”
Asked about the current situation and the future, Brawn said a management switch was not out of the question, but made clear it was not something that had been considered or discussed with Schumacher or Mercedes.
“It is possible,” he said. “In terms of what role Michael would play in the future, we are not discussing that in detail because that is not a consideration at the moment.
“But Michael's experience of motor racing, and his judgement and so on, would be an asset to any team. I am not sure he wants the day-to-day commitment that some of us have, but he would like to stay involved.
“He loves the sport, he loves racing, and he loves developing the cars, and seeing how the team works. I can full well see in the future that he would retain a strong interest and that will come one day, and I do hope it will be with us.”
He added that a final decision on Schumacher's future did not rest solely with the driver.
“I don't think the decision is his alone,” he said. “We have to go to find a solution together. I can't honestly go into details, but it is not Michael's decision to stay, it is not our decision for him to stay. It is a joint decision.
“I think Michael has a huge amount of offer. When you saw his driving in Spa, it was a great performance, but perhaps not with as strong a car as we wanted.
“He has had lots of performances like that this year, so I am very happy with Michael's performance, and with these technical challenges we are going to face, particularly in 2014, someone of Michael's experience and calibre will be a great asset to any team, particularly our team.” - AFP