Rumours that Michael Schumacher will retire from Formula One for a second time at the end of this season refuse to go away with the latest reports claiming there may be pressure on him to quit.
The seven-times World Champion made his comeback with Mercedes GP at the start of this year following three years away from the sport and he was tipped to challenge for the title.
However, he has struggled to make an impact and has been outshone by his younger team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan recently told the BBC that "there are too many indications that now give me the feeling he is reconsidering his commitment to his three-year contract".
Although the Schumacher camp has denied that he will quit at the end of the season, the reports refuse to go away.
Respected F1 journalist Joe Saward wrote in his latest blog that the 41-year-old would have a convenient excuse should he decide to 'retire'.
'It is unlikely that Mercedes-Benz would want to be seen to be dropping Michael, as this would suggest that the decision to take him on was a mistake, but there may be pressure in the background for him to decide that retirement is the best option. If he needs excuses, he still has a neck injury that could be revive to smooth the departure, which would be an explanation that most of the German media would happily accept.
'There is little question that this season has done nothing to enhance the Schumacher legacy, although perhaps for the man himself it has been necessary for him to understand that time stands still for no man and that one day he must face up to the reality that everyone gets older. Trying to fight that inevitably results in a sad story.'
The BBC's Jonathan Legard last week claimed that Adrian Sutil is the leading contender to take over from Schumacher and Saward added that Paul di Resta is the front-runner to take over from Sutil at Force India.
'Sutil's contract with Force India is coming to an end and if he moves on it will allow another Mercedes rising star, Paul di Resta, to get into Formula 1 as team-mate to Tonio Liuzzi at the Silverstone team.'
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug has already thrown his support behind the campaign to see Force India tester di Resta in F1 soon.
"I think his chances for an F1 seat are good," Haug told racexpress.nl. "Of course I hope he stays with us, but I also know he has to take the opportunity when it arises. I would absolutely support him in that."
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