Michael Schumacher would consider becoming a temporary replacement for the injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, his spokeswoman has revealed.
With Massa almost certain to miss a number of races as he recovers from the injuries he suffered in his Hungarian Grand Prix accident, Schumacher's name has emerged as a potential candidate. The seven-time World Champion remains an advisor for the team and, since quitting F1, has confined his racing activities to motorcycles.
Although Schumacher has stated many times that he has no interest in making a comeback, his spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said on Tuesday that he would not automatically reject the idea of stepping into Massa's car if Ferrari asked him.
"The whole thing will be considered by Ferrari. If they approach Michael, then he will consider it," Kehm told the BBC. "But there is no reason for him to step into their discussion.
"Usually, I would say he's not interested because he's fine with his life and he doesn't miss anything but now the situation is so different – it's very hypothetical – and Michael doesn't want to step into that [discussion]."
Schumacher has kept fit since he turned his back on F1 at the end of 2006, but is probably nowhere near the fitness levels he had when racing – especially following a sizeable motorcycle crash earlier this year.
"Michael had a motorcycle accident in February when he had a neck problem – and I really can't tell you if his neck would be fine to drive an F1 race," Kehm added. "If Ferrari asked him whether he would consider driving, he would have it checked – and remember, he is a 40-year-old man, too."
Schumacher last tested a Formula 1 car in April 2008, when he tested an F2008 at Barcelona.