MICHAEL SCHUMACHER'S OFFICIAL spokesperson has refused to dismiss rumours the Formula 1 legend could be in line to make a shock return to the sport with Mercedes Grand Prix.
The seven-time World Champion emerged as a potential candidate to fill the vacant seat with the 'new' team after Jenson Button opted to switch to McLaren.
While the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld were initially mooted as potential options, co-team principal Norbert Haug?s suggestion that a surprise could be in store immediately prompted conjecture Schumacher could be on the team?s agenda.
A move to Mercedes would see Schumacher link up with Ross Brawn, the former Ferrari technical guru who helped guide the 41-year-old to each of his driver?s World Championships, including his two at Benetton.
And Schumacher spokesperson Sabine Kehm has now added further fuel to the speculation by a return to the race track should not be ruled out.
?My personal opinion has really not changed,? she told the Times. ?I can see lots of tempting things in it for Michael, but I can also see a lot of non-tempting things. I don?t know.
?It is as it was in August [with the Ferrari comeback] when you couldn?t tell what was going to happen. Then I was convinced Michael would never come back and, suddenly, all the circumstances were right for him. I still think it is unlikely, but you never know.?
While talk of Schumacher?s potential comeback have only recently emerged, his manager, Willi Weber said the German held informal talks with Mercedes management at the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
?I know Michael spoke informally to (Mercedes boss Dieter) Zetsche and Mercedes when he was at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,? Weber said to German outlet Bild.
?And, of course, he often speaks with Ross Brawn. But Michael has not said anything to me personally about contact with Mercedes over a driver's contract.?
Mercedes long pursued Schumacher during his time with Formula 1, constantly attempting, and failing, to drag him across to McLaren after developing the 91-time Grand Prix winner as a youngster.
Meanwhile, Australian rising star Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish the Macau Grand Prix, crashing on the opening lap to end his bid to win the race considered the unofficial Formula 3 World Championship.
Ricciardo displayed impressive pace across the weekend, regularly lapping in the top five runners in practice and qualifying, while outpacing fellow Red Bull stable mate Brendon Hartley and highly rated F3 Euroseries champion Jules Bianchi, who will test for Ferrari.
The 20-year-old will hope to bounce back at next month?s Formula 1 young driver test where he will get the behind the wheel of a Red Bull Racing charger for three days.