Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry has revealed that his team wants to sign Michael Schumacher next season.
Mercedes has been strongly linked with a deal for Schumacher ever since it announced it would be running a full works team next season and has still yet to confirm who Nico Rosberg’s team-mate will be.
Ferrari has cleared the way for Schumacher to be released from his road car development contract and German media claimed over the weekend that a Mercedes/Schumacher deal was already in place.
Fry revealed that Schumacher was on top of Mercedes’ wish list, but he wouldn’t confirm whether a deal was yet in place.
“He would be very good for our team,” he told the BBC. “The view from inside F1, not just my team, is they all hope it will happen. I can't tell you at this stage [if it will happen], unfortunately.
Fry said that although Schumacher would be Mercedes’ first choice, it was still considering other drivers should the seven-time world champion decide not to return.
“A number of drivers are still available if Michael were to decide not to drive,” he said. “Then there are alternatives that we would be happy to go with.”
Schumacher was set to stand in at Ferrari for the injured Felipe Massa last summer, but fitness concerns stopped him competing. It is understood that the German has been undergoing extensive fitness training since the summer to prepare himself for a full F1 return.