Michael Schumacher has rejected rumours he might make room at Mercedes next year for Robert Kubica.

Michael Schumacher has rejected rumours he might make room at Mercedes next year for Robert Kubica.

It is has been suggested that team figures want Pole Kubica, 25, to race alongside Nico Rosberg in 2011, despite Schumacher having a three year contract.

But although Schumacher slumped to just 15th on the Valencia grid, he said on Saturday he can "handle the pain" of his current situation.

"I'm not here with a short-term view, that I just look from race to race and I have to have a single result.

"From my point of view we have a three year programme."

Asked if the criticism hurt, or made him more determined to return to the top, the 41-year-old told reporters: "Neither nor.

"I know what's going on and I care about what is real and what I know and have to worry about.

"Once we can solve our problems then there is reason to believe we can do much better, and even win races this year," he added.

Team boss Ross Brawn said at the Spanish street circuit that Mercedes has "not spoken" to Kubica.

"I spoke to him at Brawn GP a year ago when we were looking at the future, but we haven't spoken to him since then.

"There's no discussions going on, we're very happy with Michael, we've got to sort the car out, that's the main issue," he insisted.

Interestingly, Brawn did admit that he has "socialised occasionally" with Kubica on the seaside coast of Tuscany, where they each have a house.

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