Yesterday's rumors that Michael Schumacher could make a return to Formula 1 with the new Mercedes Grand Prix team were turned up a notch on Friday when Britain's BBC reported that the seven-time World Champion was in negotiations with the former Brawn squad.
The BBC quoted its "motorsport pundit," former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan, as saying, "I believe Ross and Michael have spoken in recent times and that Michael likes the idea of driving a Mercedes run by Ross. It's a mouth-watering idea. I believe that is being planned at the moment."
Such a move would reunite Schumacher with Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn, who directed all of Schumacher's seven titles at Benetton and Ferrari. Schumacher also came up through Mercedes' young-driver development program, racing for the company's works sports prototype team in the early 1990s.
"At the moment, it is not possible for Michael to drive for Mercedes because he has a consultancy contract with Ferrari," said Jordan, who gave Schumacher his F1 chance with his Jordan Grand Prix team in 1991. "But I understand he was due to meet Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo with a view to him being released – and that it will be approved because it is in the interests of F1."
Mercedes has indicated it wants an all-German lineup at Mercedes, and getting Schumacher would obviously be the ultimate coup in this regard. Schumacher, who will be 41 in January, had to call off his planned comeback with Ferrari this season as a replacement for the injured Felipe Massa because of a neck injury suffered in a motorcycle crash. However, that injury is expected to be fully healed by the end of the year.
"Schumacher was bitterly disappointed he didn't get to come back to replace Massa – he's keen to race again. And this is a dream for both parties," Jordan added.
Whether the dream has any reality to it remains to be seen. Schumacher has offered no comment, while his spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, told Britain's Mirror
newspaper yesterday, "You never say never in this sport, but you can rule it out at the moment. It's highly unlikely."