Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has said that Nico Rosberg reminds him of a younger Michael Schumacher, and has admitted that the 26-year-old is arguably the toughest team-mate the seven-time title winner has had.

Rosberg currently sits twelve points ahead of Schumacher in the championship standings having scored almost double the points of his more experienced team-mate en-route to seventh in the standings last year.

Having worked with Schumacher throughout his career, Brawn is well placed to comment on the similarities between his two drivers and he admitted that he saw a lot of the younger Schumacher when he looked at former Williams man Rosberg.

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"Sometimes it's like the young Michael Schumacher is standing before me," he was quoted as telling the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "He goes about his job with an incredible intensity, he has no emotional weaknesses and is incredibly talented.

"Perhaps the situation would be a little easier for Michael if he had a team-mate who was not so incredibly strong. But both can learn many things from each other, and everyone is up to the challenge."

Brawn also confirmed that Mercedes will confirm its driver line-up for 2012 later this season, with it likely that Schumacher would remain for the third and final year of his current contract.

"He [Schumacher] has a three year contract with Mercedes, and we are very happy with him," he said. "But if he feels that he doesn't want to do it anymore, then we need to talk about it. You can't force somebody to do something. But we believe in him; he's an important part of our team."