Will Schumacher re-retire at season's end? Ecclestone, Stewart think so

Michael Schumacher's triumphant comeback has been anything but. The seven-time world champion has been consistently outpaced by his junior team-mate Nico Rosberg, who most recently scored a podium finish at this past weekend's British Grand Prix while Schumi could manage no better than ninth. The question on everyone's minds, then, has been whether he'll stay for another season.

According to Jackie Stewart, Michael could – or at least should – call it quits. Sir Jackie retired at the top of his game, a three-time world champion, and evaluates Schumacher's return from retirement as a mistake. Bernie Ecclestone seems to agree, but blames the team and the car they've provided, claiming that if Schumi were driving a Red Bull, he'd be back on pace immediately instead of languishing behind the wheel of a sub-par chassis. For Schumacher's part, the champ has conceded that his performance this season has eliminated his chance for the title, and that he's shifted his focus on preparing for the 2011 championship instead.

If he does retire at the end of this season instead of fulfilling his contract through 2012, who would fill Schumacher's seat? Related rumors suggest Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish champion, who left F1 for the World Rally Championship at the end of last season, has been tipped to join Renault next season, but was reportedly visited recently by Mercedes racing chief Norbert Haug.

[Sources: Autosport, ESPN, grandprix.com | Image: Luca Bruno/AP]

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