Germany's Bild newspaper reports that Mercedes Grand Prix is proposing a one-year deal to pay Michael Schumacher seven million euros ($10.3m) for the seven-time World Champion to return to F1 in 2010 as Nico Rosberg's teammate in 2010. The paper claims this is the same deal offered to Jenson Button, who rejected it in favor of a switch to McLaren.
This would be a significant pay cut for Schumacher from the last driving contract he had with Ferrari – he still reportedly makes $5m a year merely as an "advisor" to the Scuderia – but Bild reports that Mercedes believes it cannot afford to offer any more.
Mercedes team chief executive Nick Fry said yesterday at the Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco that a Schumacher return would be great for F1. He added, though, that a decision on the second seat at Mercedes probably will not be made before the new year.
"We might say something before Christmas but it's more likely to be the beginning of January," Fry said.