Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has shown he is still firmly behind Schumacher, as he confirms that the team would be happy to employ the Formula 1 legend for another year if he wishes to continue. Speculation was renewed about Schumacher’s future, as he showed the first signs of returning to his previous form since rejoining the F1 circuit.

The 7-time world champion set the fastest qualifying time in Monaco at the weekend and would have been in pole position were in not for the 5 place penalty he received for hitting Bruno Senna in Spain.

Before the Monaco qualifying sessions, Schumacher’s results had left much to desire. The veteran German driver had finished only 2 of 5 races, scraping into the points at 10th both times. When Michael set a blistering lap in the newly successful Mercedes car on Saturday, the feeling was optimistic, and suddenly the predictions of a podium position were back.

“It’s great for the team and I think it’s great for F1 as well,” Brawn said after Michael’s qualifying performance. “Let’s hope he continues on as long as he can do what he did today. We always said Michael himself will know when it’s time to retire and after a performance like that why should he?”

Schumacher himself has remained quiet on the subject of his future all season, understandably reluctant to make predictions in such an exciting and volatile season. “You imagine that just because of one result I’ve done at this moment I’m suddenly restarting or opening a different subject. No, that’s not the case,” he said. “I’m focused on what I’m doing right now. There will come a time when I will make summary of everything and then I will sit down with the team to see what we’re going to do.” Unfortunately for the former world champion, he could not show the same kind of pace during the Grand Prix, and was eventually forced to retire from 7th place with a fuel pressure problem.