Haug meeting with Kimi, Bernie’s doubts add to Schumacher’s quitting story

Norbert Haug paid a recent visit to Kimi Raikkonen, further fueling rumors that Michael Schumacher’s comeback may only last this season.

And add to the fire this quote from Bernie Ecclestone: “If Schumacher doesn’t perform I doubt whether he will want to stay … he is obviously fit, motivated and talented but the car hasn’t been up to him.”

Now, certainly, there are a variety of reasons why the media would be stoking this flame. Among British press, their dislike (or worse) of Schumacher is legendary. And Schumacher’s coming or going makes for good stories. Add in the appeal of Kimi, and it is a difficult story not to bite into (as my own post proves!).

But take it all for what it may be worth: There’s a building plume of smoke around Michael Schumacher.

Here’s more on Haug’s visit, via Yahoo:

The speculation surrounding a possible comeback for ex-F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen next year has gathered pace, with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug having paid a visit to see the Finn at his Swiss home – and McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh reflecting that the sport would be ‘richer’ were he to return.


Which only goes to make the reports in Finnish newspaper Iltalehti that Raikkonen recently received a visit from Haug at home in Switzerland all-the-more intriguing. The German has since confirmed the visit, but sought to play down its significance, whilst the Espoo native’s spokesman Riku Kuvaja has re-iterated that the situation remains ‘the same as before’.

“I have been in contact with Kimi as a friend,” the 57-year-old – who worked closely with Raikkonen at McLaren from 2002 to 2006 and was a guest at the 18-time grand prix-winner’s wedding – told MTV3 at Silverstone. “Kimi will make a decision [regarding his future] for himself. I do hope he comes back, because it would be a good thing for F1.”

Take that for what you will. Can anyone figure out a reason why Haug would be talking to Kimi about F1 for a reason other than a seat at Mercedes? Surely McLaren isn’t in play, nor is Force India. Could he just want the Iceman back in F1 — even it that means competing against him at Renault?

And what might be going through Bernie’s mind? Is he trying to motivate Michael?

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