Jos Verstappen, who partnered Michael Schumacher at Benetton during the German's first F1 title-winning season in 1994, has admitted that a possible return for the seven-time champion would be a huge boost for the sport.
Schumacher retired from the sport at the end of the 2006 season but was set to make a comeback with Ferrari earlier this year after Felipe Massa was injured in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
While that comeback never occurred due to a neck injury, the German has now found himself linked with a move to Mercedes after the manufacturer purchased a controlling stake in Brawn GP.
Despite conflicting reports about whether a return could take place – with Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug refusing to put the rumours to bed earlier this week – the talk is set to continue until a deal is done either way and Verstappen admitted that it would be good for F1 if Schumacher did make a comeback.
“It's not inconceivable that Michael could return to F1 with the new Mercedes team,” he wrote in his column for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf
. “It is still a big rumour but it is no secret that Ross Brawn was always behind Michael at both Benetton and Ferrari and that Norbert Haug and Schumacher are good friends.
“If Michael did return to F1, I would view it as a good thing and it would bring in extra viewers. The attention it would generate would be good after Honda, Toyota and BMW left and there is still a large question mark over Renault.”