Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson believes Marcus Gronholm could still do a good job for Mini, if he were to return with the German manufacturer next season.
In today's AUTOSPORT magazine, Gronholm admits to having talked to the parties involved in the Prodrive-run Mini World Rally Car and he says he would be interested in a programme of 2011 events.
Gronholm has worked with Prodrive previously, contesting the 2009 Rally of Portugal in a Subaru Impreza WRC.
The Finn said: "I might be interested [in coming back to WRC]. I would have to think. It's tough for the whole season again, but maybe it would be good to be involved in testing and some rallies. Why not?"
Of the 30 WRC rounds Gronholm won, 12 of those victories came at the wheel of one of Wilson's Ford Focus RS WRCs. The Briton knows the double world champion well and says it would be fascinating to see how Gronholm would fare in a possible return.
Wilson said: "Marcus would always be a welcome return to the championship, he's one of the sport's great characters and I think he could do a good job [for Mini] in that situation. I think you could harness him into some testing and six rounds next year or something like that, but Marcus gets very frustrated when he's not winning.
"But, that sort of role, he could do very well. Half a dozen rallies and some test and development, he could definitely give them [Mini] a good steer and obviously he's still a very talented driver, but it's three years since he retired."