Michael Schumacher is refuting reports in an Italian newspaper that he will retire from Formula One at the end of the season, but admits to not knowing what the future holds.
Schumacher not the retiring type ... yet
Michael Schumacher has dismissed rumours he is poised to quit Formula One for a second time.
An apparently erroneous report in an Italian newspaper last week quoted Schumacher as saying he no longer felt he had the right mindset for Mercedes, and that he would soon be evaluating whether he would continue or stop. That is despite the fact the seven-times world champion made clear last month he see out his three-year contract with Mercedes that expires at the end of next season.
It also led to a swift response from his manager, Sabine Kehm, who stated Schumacher had not spoken to the newspaper concerned, adding he remains "full of passion for the project".
Speaking at the Mercedes' 'Magic Moments' event in Stuttgart, with the manufacturer marking 125 years of the automobile, Schumacher said: "Despite some funny rumours and stupid, untruthful stories, I keep repeating myself, that you will see me in 2012.
"I will be here and the good thing is I have a lot of support from all around, in particular from the company and the team.
"They all wish for me to be here, and I wish to be here. I am looking forward to it."
Beyond next year, however, remains open to speculation, with the 42 year old, who will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Formula One debut in a fortnight at the Belgian Grand Prix, is himself unsure of what the future holds.
"We will have to see how things develop and how much energy and fun is still there," added Schumacher, perhaps a hint that he has not won a race, let alone the eighth title he was hoping for, since his return.
Schumacher is not expecting too much to change next season.
"It would be presumptuous if one expects us to fight for the title next year," he said. "At the moment we are too far behind."