Renault number one driver Robert Kubica could be on his way to Mercedes for F1 2011, according to the latest rumours, to replace struggling record-breaking multiple F1 world champion, Michael Schumacher.
It has been claimed by an Italian website that the Polish driver has been offered a three-year deal by Mercedes with a top salary and an option for a further two years. The deal was apparently made on Friday ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix.
Mercedes though, has moved to quickly dismiss the speculation and a spokesperson for the team told British newspaper, The Guardian
that it was not accurate: "We can confirm that there is absolutely no truth in this report," the spokesperson said.
The Daily Mail
also adds that Mercedes 'laughed it off' yesterday and that 'well-placed sources in Germany have ruled it out entirely'.
Whatever the truth though, Schumacher has certainly not set the world alight since opting to return to the sport and The Daily Mail
continues that he 'might cite his neck – which he injured last year in a bike race [and which prevented him from coming back with Ferrari] – as an elegant get-out to escape the embarrassment he is [currently] suffering'.
Schumacher maintains though that he is not worried and he has hit back at the critics after his performance in Canada was slated.
"I don't take them seriously," Schumacher said. "There are different elements to F1 and one part is show business. To moan about me sometimes creates some attention, which maybe is to be purposely achieved. I'd rather not have it, or have to hear about it or have to answer your question, but that's what it comes down to for me."
"Yes, you make mistakes and you could have improved certain things, with hindsight," he continued. "But all in all I don't think there are many guys around the world who, at 41, come back after a three-year break and compete at this high a level.
"I've not lost my knowledge of driving. I know what I'm doing and I think I do it to the best I can. When I won 91 grands prix and seven championships, I was thinking then about how I can improve, as I'm doing now."
Mercedes GP CEO, Nick Fry meanwhile recently defended the German and said he is driving just as good as his team-mate, Nico Rosberg [see separate story - click here].
"We don't really see any significant difference in the performance between Nico Rosberg and Michael – one is simply getting the breaks and the other isn't at the moment," Fry stated. "In sport, what goes around comes around, so we are very comfortable with Michael's performance and I can't see any reason why he won't come good."