World champ engineer awaits Schumi

22 December, 2009

Andy Shovlin (right) engineered Jenson Button to the 2009 F1 title

Dec.22 (GMM) Yet another sign that Michael Schumacher is set to return to Formula 1 next year has emerged.

According to German sources, even though Nico Rosberg is currently the only confirmed Mercedes driver for 2010, his race engineer will be Jock Clear.

Clear headed the race engineering team on Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn in 2009, while Andy Shovlin worked with the world champion Jenson Button.

Shovlin, however – affectionately known by McLaren-bound Button as ‘Shuv’ – is staying with Mercedes in 2010, meaning that if Schumacher does ultimately agree a deal with the Brackley based team, the duo will pair up.

Bernie Ecclestone is confident Schumacher will return.

“I would personally be very, very happy. I’m quite sure he’s going to drive again,” the F1 chief executive told Motorsport Aktuell.

Niki Lauda, meanwhile, has dismissed the views of those who believe the German may struggle to mount a comeback as a 41-year-old after a three-year absence.

“His level is that of a seven time world champion,” the Austrian, who returned from retirement in the 80s and won a third world championship, told Kicker magazine.

“If Schumacher drives again, he will be immediately competitive, because he was the best — on another level.”


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