Michael Schumacher’s friendly post-race banter with Jenson Button belies the fact that the Briton could become the German’s fierce rival in the near future, writes CAR deputy editor John Bentley.

One thing is certain: Michael Schumacher's challengers in the German Grand Prix are all stars of the future. We'll certainly be seeing a lot more of Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raïkkönen in the coming years.


But who will be the man who dethrones the six-time champion if he stays on long enough to allow it to happen?


From the gestures in parc fermé and on the podium after the race, I'd say that Michael is reasonably comfortable with Jenson - the smiles and embraces were telling body language clues from a man to whom winning is everything.


He was also fairly amiable - but less so - to Fernando. Does that mean he regards the Spaniard as a greater threat? And how would he have reacted had Kimi not crashed out after a rear wing failure, and finished in a podium position?


And what would his demeanour have been had the flying Finn - or Button, who looked as though he had the pace, but was docked 10 places on the grid after an engine failure - managed to beat the Ferrari driver?