Mercedes boss Nick Fry has hinted that F1 superstar Michael Schumacher will return to the sport in 2010.

Rumours that the record-breaking seven-time F1 world champion will come out of retirement have intensified in recent days and on Sunday it emerged that the German has already allegedly reached a 'verbal agreement' to compete with the former Brawn GP team [see separate story - click here].

Furthermore with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo having said that they will not stand in Schumacher's way - the 41-year-old had agreed to continue to act as a consultant for the Scuderia, it appears the road is now clear for the German to bid for an eighth title.

"He would be very good for our team," Fry told BBC Sport Online. "The view from inside F1, not just my team, is they all hope it will happen.

"I can't tell you at this stage [if it will happen], unfortunately. But a number of drivers are still available if Michael were to decide not to drive. There are alternatives that we would be happy to go with."

Schumacher's spokeswoman, Sabin Kehm, meanwhile remains tight-lipped: "I don't want to say any more, or talk about any plans he might have."

As for Jenson Button's decision to leave Mercedes/Brawn GP, something that has left a vacancy for Schumacher to make his comeback, Fry concedes he still doesn't really know why the Englishman has opted to go to McLaren and link-up with Lewis Hamilton.

"I don't fully understand his motivation," Fry added in a separate report by The Associated Press. "Jenson did want a new challenge. He was driven to win the championship and he'd achieved that. But I think he's got a mighty task ahead of him and, in all fairness, good luck to him.

"To compete against Lewis on home territory is a big thing to take on. Lewis will have the advantage, he knows everybody while Jenson will have to try and settle into the team very quickly in the next few months. He still has to fit into a very complex environment."