Mercedes AMG Petronas chief executive officer Nick Fry has confirmed that the team is keeping a close eye on Paul di Resta as it looks at the possible options should Michael Schumacher elect to leave the team at the end of the season.
The three-year deal Schumacher signed to come out of retirement at the start of 2010 comes to an end at the conclusion of the current season, with no decision having yet been taken as to whether the seven time champion will elect to sign a new deal.
Speculation has suggested that Schumacher could decide that the time has arrived to end his F1 career for good at the end of 2012, with di Resta having previously been mentioned as one possible replacement thanks to his relationship with the German manufacturer.
The Scot was part of the its young driver programme and took the 2010 DTM title for Mercedes before graduating to F1 with Force India
and Fry admitted that he would be on the list of drivers to be considered if Schumacher quit.
"Of course Paul's on our radar," he told Sky Sports News
. "He's done a fantastic job, he's a nice guy, he's great team player and he would be one of the drivers undoubtedly that, if Michael were to decide he didn't want to continue, we would look at.
“We haven't reached that time yet in our thinking but we have all got a lot of admiration for Paul."
Schumacher's difficult season has seen him manage just a brace of tenth place finishes so far with three retirements, with another difficult weekend ahead in Monaco thanks to a five place grid penalty imposed for his collision with Bruno Senna in Spain.
Although careful not to be critical of Schumacher, Fry admitted that the German was likely to question his future if results don't improve.
"I am sure if we get to the end of this year and it is continues as it has done for the last few races I think he will probably be asking himself that question,” he said. “There is time to go and we are not making any decisions yet."