Michael Schumacher hasn't enjoyed the easiest return to F1 after three years away from the sport and, as a result, questions are being asked about whether or not the seven-time champion will still be around in 2011.

Schumacher himself has already admitted that his focus is switching to next year after it became apparent that his hopes of securing another title disappeared, with the German having managed just 36 points so far.

By contrast, team-mate Nico Rosberg has picked up 90 points and has enjoyed three tips to the podium. Schumacher has yet to finish higher than fourth.

Some of Schumacher's struggles are quite clearly down to the fact that F1 has moved on a lot during his three years away, while the German has also failed to get to grips with the latest generation Bridgestone tyre used this year.

However, the fact remains that the results this season haven't matched what many expected at the start of the year - regardless of whether those expectations were wholly realistic or not.

Following another weekend where Rosberg had the edge over his experienced team-mate, Jackie Stewart and Bernie Ecclestone have become the latest people to suggest that Schumacher might not be around next year [See story HERE].

Schumacher's future with the team has also been called into question by the fact that Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug has already been in contact with Kimi Raikkonen 'as a friend', while the team also has a driver on its books who is keen to return to a racing seat in the shape of former BMW Sauber man Nick Heidfeld - now employed as Mercedes' test and reserve driver.

While the ban on testing means Heidfeld hasn't been able to sample the W01, there is little doubt that he would welcome the chance to make a return to competitive action after BMW's decision to quit the sport left him high-and-dry when it came to a race seat.

So what do you think? Will Schumacher continue into 2011 in an effort to prove his doubters wrong or is the time drawing closer for Raikkonen or Heidfeld to make a return to F1 action?

To have your say and vote, click here


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