The future of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher could well be in management at Mercedes, the German auto giant’s racing boss said on Friday.
This comes on the heels of speculation that Mercedes wants to move 27-year-old Lewis Hamilton from McLaren-Mercedes to the home side next season to partner with Nico Rosberg, also 27.
Schumacher, 43, came out of retirement in 2010 and signed a three-year-deal with Mercedes that runs out at the end of the current season.
Mercedes racing director Ross Brawn said Friday at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza that he has not ruled out the possibility of Schumacher moving into a management role for the team.
“It is possible,” Brawn 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 a day-to-day commitment that some of us do, 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.”
In first practice Friday Hamilton was fastest with a lap of one minute, 25.290 seconds.
His McLaren-Mercedes teammate Jenson Button was second fastest at 1:25.328 with championship leader Fernando Alonso third in a Ferrari at 1:25.348.
Schumacher was 10th fastest at 1:26.094 with Rosberg fifth at 1:25.446.