Michael Schumacher is racing for retirement if his run of poor form continues.
That is the view of Nick Fry, the chief executive of Mercedes' Brackley based formula one team.
Despite looking more competitive in 2012 than in the first two seasons of his controversial return to F1, seven time world champion Schumacher has scored just 2 points so far, compared to Shanghai winner and teammate Nico Rosberg's 41.
So after a meteoric career spanning 91 grands prix, will he bow out on a low?
"I am sure if we get to the end of this year and it continues as it has done for the last few races I think he will probably be asking himself that question," Fry is quoted by the Daily Mail.
Fry this week named Mercedes' former DTM protege Paul di Resta as an ideal successor for Schumacher, whose contract runs out late this year.
"There is time to go and we are not making any decisions yet," Briton Fry, who deputised for ill team boss Ross Brawn recently in Barcelona, insisted.
It is a similarly worrying time for Schumacher's 2006 Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who - as his own contract runs out - is struggling notably against Fernando Alonso.
In an open motivational letter to Ferrari staff this week, team president Luca di Montezemolo insisted Brazilian Massa "must bring home the results we expect from him".