F1 title winner Jenson Button admits that seven-time champion Michael Schumacher would be risking his reputation if he was to make a return to the sport next season.

After weeks of speculation that Schumacher was to come out of retirement to join Mercedes - the team created from the Brawn outfit which carried Button to the title - German media has now reported that a deal could be imminent, although both team and driver have refused to comment on the speculation.

Should Schumacher return, he would face the prospect of going up against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for the first time and Button insisted that - while a return would be good for F1 - it might not be the best move for Schumacher himself.

"Schumacher coming back to F1 is great news for the sport," he told the News of the World, "but I don't know if it will be great news for Michael Schumacher.

"He will be putting his reputation on the line coming back into the sport."

Button added that he would have no concerns about going head to head with Schumacher, insisting that he was keen to race against 'one of the best' F1 drivers again.

"I'll race against anybody," he said. I want to beat the best and he was one of the best."