Ross Brawn has hinted that Michael Schumacher could stay with Mercedes beyond the end of his current deal, if the team can continue to make forward progress and the seven-time champion can turn his run of bad luck around.
While Nico Rosberg has enjoyed a solid season so far, with a maiden win in China helping him to fifth in the championship, Schumacher has suffered the lions share of bad luck in the Mercedes garage – scoring just two points thus far from six races and failing to finish on four occasions.
Schumacher has shown his speed in qualifying however, qualifying on the front two rows on three occasions and snaring provisional pole position in Monaco before a penalty carried over from the Spanish Grand Prix was applied.
Speaking to Sport Bild
, Brawn admitted that Schumacher's lack of results so far was largely down to a lack of luck and said the former Benetton and Ferrari driver had shown he is still more than capable of fighting towards the head of the pack.
"We need to analyse the start of the season very carefully," the team boss said. "We have not reached our goals with Michael. It was not about the car and Michael being too slow; it's just been a few unfortunate circumstances coming together.
"After his accident in Barcelona, Michael was very unhappy, but after qualifying in Monaco he was very happy. I think basically the positive feelings outweigh the negative this season. With the pole position, Michael showed what he is still capable of, so there is no reason for us to not want to continue with him."
Brawn added that he wasn't thinking about a possible replacement for Schumacher, and that he fully expected the relationship between the two parties to continue if the results come.
"If we achieve our goals together with him, he like us will probably be interested in going on,” he said. “If we all feel that it is right to continue, it will happen. We have no real plan B, although one or two people have asked us about our situation for 2013."