Michael Schumacher has vowed not to let the frustrations of his 2012 F1 campaign dictate his thinking when it comes to signing a new contract to remain in the top flight next year.
While Mercedes has been linked to various possible replacements for the 43-year old veteran - including Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg - team principal Ross Brawn has already hinted that he expects Schumacher to ink an extension [see story here
] as long as the team can show that it has the ability to field a competitive car for him.
The German has just two points to his name this season, coming from tenth-place finishes in Malaysia and Bahrain that are surrounded by no fewer than five DNFs - that latest courtesy of a defective DRS system in Canada. While Brawn admits that Mercedes needs to keep its eye on the ball in order to live up to its potential [see story here
], Schumacher says that there is no rush to get a deal done, no doubt hoping to see a little more reliability on his side of the garage.
"I will certainly not be driven by emotion regarding my future in Formula One," he told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell
as he prepares for this weekend's European GP in Valencia, "That applies in both the negative and positive sense. You must take other things into account when you make decisions with such an impact.”
Posting the fastest time in qualifying for the recent Monaco Grand Prix showed that Schumacher still has the ability to pull out a great result - even if the pole position was lost to a penalty picked up in Barcelona two weeks earlier - and the seven-time world champion insists that he has bridged the gap to team-mate Nico Rosberg in the past few months.
“I will definitely not simply give up,” he said, “I continue to believe in our joint project and that we can do something great with Mercedes. Since mid-2011, I have been on a par with Nico in the race and, now and then, have even been better than him, so, if the team and I believe that all the important factors are in order, we will be talking about a further cooperation."