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Schumacher coy over Sauber switch

Michael Schumacher's future in Formula One is uncertain after he was reaplced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Story highlights

  • Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher coy on his Formula One future
  • German was released by Mercedes team to make way for Lewis Hamilton
  • The 43-year-old made a sensational return to F1 with Mercedes in 2010
  • Schumacher won seven F1 titles with Benetton and Ferrari between '94 and '04

Michael Schumacher is keeping all his options open as he ponders his Formula One future after Sauber expressed their desire to sign the seven-time world champion.

The 43-year-old will be replaced at famous German marque Mercedes by the 2008 drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton after the Brit confirmed he is to leave McLaren.

Schumacher returned to the elite division of motorsport in 2010 after four years in retirement but has been unable to capture the form that saw him dominate F1 between 1994 and 2004.

After opting not to sign another contract with Mercedes, Schumacher has been linked with a sensational return to former team Ferrari, or a switch to the much smaller Sauber outfit.

Lewis Hamilton joins Mercedes in three-year deal

But the German's manager Sabine Kehm told CNN World Sport that Schumacher would take his time before making a decision on his future.

    When asked if Schumacher was determined to stay in the sport Kehm said: "The answer is that we will carefully think about any options we have.

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    "We are not in hurry to do this. In the meantime though we will not give out any reports and discuss the different steps."

    Schumacher won five successive titles with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004 and was one of the sport's most divisive characters.

    But since making a dramatic comeback to Formula One in 2010 he has claimed just one podium finish in his three seasons back on the grid -- at June's European Grand Prix.

    It was the 155th time he had made the podium in his F1 career and the first since the Chinese Grand Prix in 2006.

    Championship leader Alonso: 'Ferrari must improve'

    Kehm insisted it was Schumacher's decision not to pen another deal with Mercedes, despite Hamilton's arrival, but should the 43-year-old want to remain in the sport he could find a home at Swiss team Sauber.

    Team chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn told German newspaper Bild they were interested in Schumacher, if he was willing to sign for a smaller team.

    "Of course it's nice to think of such a possibility, that we can ask ourselves if we can get a seven-time world champion when he is on the market," she said.

    "Michael has until now been with just big stables which we can't compare ourselves to."

    Schumacher is currently 12th in the drivers' championship standings on 43 points, 151 behind the current leader, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

    The German has six races left with Mercedes, beginning this weekend in Japan.