Schumacher: I have decided to retire at the end of the year

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 announces his retirement from Formula One at the end of 2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Preparations, Suzuka, Japan, Thursday 4 October 2012.

Michael Schumacher announces his retirement from Formula One at the end of 2012

Oct.4 (Reuters) Michael Schumacher announced his retirement from Formula One for the second time, at the age of 43, on Thursday, after failing to rekindle his old Ferrari magic in a disappointing comeback with Mercedes.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 announces his retirement at the end of the 2012 season with Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director and Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal. Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Preparations, Suzuka, Japan, Thursday 4 October 2012.The team had already announced last week that the seven-time world champion, winner of a record 91 races in a career that started in 1991, would be replaced by McLaren‘s Lewis Hamilton for the start of the 2013 campaign.

Schumacher told reporters, packed into the confined space of the tented Mercedes hospitality suite at the Suzuka circuit ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, that his decision came as a relief.

“I have decided to retire by the end of the year, although I am still able and capable to compete with the best drivers that are around,” he declared, reading from a statement.

“But at some point, it is good to say goodbye. And that is what I am doing here…and it might this time even be forever,” he smiled.

Schumacher’s first retirement came at the end of 2006, after he had won five titles in a row with Ferrari from 2000 and two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Jordan 191.  Formula One World Championship. Belgium Grand Prix, Spa, Belgium. 25 August 1991.That departure proved premature, with the most successful driver in the 62-year history of the sport unable to resist the allure of a return with Mercedes when the Stuttgart-based manufacturer bought the title-winning Brawn GP team in 2009.

The move reunited him with friend and former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn, now the team principal, but together they were unable to roll back the years and regain the heights of old.

Schumacher has been on the podium only once in the last three seasons, a third place in Valencia this year, and has retired from half of the 14 races so far in 2012. His last win was with Ferrari in China in 2006.

The veteran has also had some embarrassing crashes, including one in Singapore that had even loyal German followers questioning his eyesight and which means he will have a 10-place penalty on the starting grid for Suzuka.

Schumacher, his voice occasionally cracking slightly with emotion as he spoke in front of a crescent of television cameras, said he now wanted to enjoy his last six races.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2004. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004. DIGITAL IMAGE BEST IMAGEThe first of those will be on Sunday at a classic circuit that ranks as one of his favourites and where, in what now seems like the distant past, he celebrated long into the night after winning two of his championships.

Thursday’s decision might be seen as an inevitable consequence of Hamilton’s signature on a Mercedes contract but there had been some lingering speculation that Schumacher could try to battle on with a lesser team such as Sauber.

The German, given a standing ovation after concluding his statement, made clear that he had no such intention and spoke of his relief and sense of freedom in deciding to walk away once the season ends in Brazil in November.

“During the past month I was not sure if I still had the motivation, and energy which is necessary to go on,” he explained.

“It is not my style to do something that I’m not 100 percent feeling for. With today’s decision I feel released from those doubts.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari and Ross Brawn (GBR) Ferrari Technical Director  Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, 10 October 2004. DIGITAL IMAGE BEST IMAGE“It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goals…but it is also very clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in the whole time of my career.”

Schumacher, who was restless and searching for a role after retiring from Ferrari and did not say what he might now do after leaving Mercedes, said he that had learned a lot about himself in the past six years.

One thing was that losing could be “both more difficult and more instructive” than winning, something he recognised he had lost sight of in his earlier years when success came almost for granted.

Debate will rage on for decades among F1 fans about where the German ranks in the pantheon of greatness, with Schumacher also one of the most controversial of racers, but Brawn had no doubt about where he stood.

“I think he’s the greatest racing driver of this century,” the Briton said.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tifosi

    Congratulations Michael Schumacher to a legendary career.

    Races have gone by, tires have burnt out, history has been created, the engines you drove roared with vigor and passion, winning championships with great performances had become a habit and you truly show that ever rising motivation to reach great heights with the teams you were in.
    You have grown stronger with every race inspiring the team and fans around you. No one may match the records you earned.
    Seen as an idol who has kept concentration and comfort all way long to glory.

    There have been times where things have gone bad but also recovered to prove again the mark of a Legend you had in yourself. Whether it be Belgium, Monza, Suzuka or Germany… you have made the best use of the hardwork that you and your team do on those precious cars driven anywhere.

    I admire the never give up attitude you have.You will always be remembered as the greatest driver of all time and my inspiration.
    Will miss you.You are Legend.

  • In other words no other teams want him

    In other words Schumacher is saying that no other team wants him. Sauber was just talk as they do not have the money nor the ability to be a top team. The Sauber deal was never going to happen.

    Lotus has no interest in an old driver who could not even beat his own teammate. Ferrari has no interest in Schumacher as they have already shown him the door. McClaren was not interested. RedBull does not want him.

    What it boils down to is only Sauber made any statement about wanting Schumacher but in the end it was just talk and nobody really wanted Schumacher.

    What the last three years have shown is that Schumacher was the great car developer that was claimed when he was with Ferrari and it was in fact the other full time development teams that Ferrari had that did all the development work that Schumacher took credit for.

    The past three years have also shown us that Schumacher was not so great without the exotic Bridgestone tires that only he was allowed to have that have been documented to have been a full two seconds a lap faster then the tires Bridgestone supplied to the other teams.

    Sorry Schumacher but you have been exposed:

    A drivers reputation can be cemented more when he’s not got the best car than when he has. Think Senna in 1993 – no chance of winning the title but extracting every ounce of what his McLaren had and scoring some brilliant wins, including his careers best at Donington. His reputation was built as much in his Toleman and Lotus days, and latter years at McLaren, as in 88, 90 and 91 when he won the title.

    Schumacher, conversely, isn’t widely considered as a true great despite winning 7 titles and 91 races, because many of them came with a huge advantage in machinery and tyres.

  • In other words no other teams want him

    In other words Schumacher is saying that no other team wants him. Sauber was just talk as they do not have the money nor the ability to be a top team. The Sauber deal was never going to happen.

    Lotus has no interest in an old driver who could not even beat his own teammate. Ferrari has no interest in Schumacher as they have already shown him the door. McClaren was not interested. RedBull does not want him.

    What it boils down to is only Sauber made any statement about wanting Schumacher but in the end it was just talk and nobody really wanted Schumacher.

    What the last three years have shown is that Schumacher was the great car developer that was claimed when he was with Ferrari and it was in fact the other full time development teams that Ferrari had that did all the development work that Schumacher took credit for.

    The past three years have also shown us that Schumacher was not so great without the exotic Bridgestone tires that only he was allowed to have that have been documented to have been a full two seconds a lap faster then the tires Bridgestone supplied to the other teams.

    Sorry Schumacher but you have been exposed:

    Schumacher, conversely, isn’t widely considered as a true great despite winning 7 titles and 91 races, because many of them came with a huge advantage in machinery and tyres.

  • kaka007

    Actually y did he come back..??
    To tarnish his legendary status by his own doing and the cars’s??

    I had been following F1 for a long time and i’m sure his records will remain unassailable for a very long time in F1 but for a fan who started following F1 from 2007 or after that the comeback will only have negative effects on schumi’s legendary status

  • JodyRenza

    In my 45 years of watching F1, Michael Schumacher was the greatest to watch.Even with all the negatives that was said in the last 3 years, I don’t think his records will be broken that easily (if ever).
    It is sad that he could not do what he did best: Develope/test a car to become the best!
    Enjoy your time Schumi…maybe we can have you in DTM!!

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    @In other words no other team wants Schumacher

    Just shut up, pls… I hate people like you who only knows how to comment bad things about Michael, it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t have a good car. It was Merc’s fault, dumba**..

  • f1 fan

    @ In other words no other teams want Shumacher

    You better run ,before Tifosi catches you !! Lol :)

  • McLarenfan

    @In other words no other teams want him:
    I think you should learn about F1 before you give your opinion.
    Those of us who have grown with the sport have respect for most drivers even if we do not support them.
    A driver such as Michael Schumacher has proven himself again and again. Since his come back he has had more time to show us fans that he isn’t the class one ass that at times he came across as.
    In fact he is a very nice now relaxed person.
    Mercedes failed to give him a car that could do the job asked of him. The car is not a championship winner or even contender then they oust him.
    Mercedes have admitted the car wasn’t up to scratch, it was wrong of them to imply that they could supply Michael a car that he can win with.
    So my advice to you would be if you have nothing better to say about Michael keep your opinion to yourself

  • Vene

    So sad. This has brought me tears. He is indeed the greatest no matter what others say!

  • Vene

    Jean todt was the missing element in his comeback to truly say that he could have brought back his Ferrari magic

  • Forza Ferrari

    Schumi is the greatest racing driver of all-time, no question about it! He’s simply the best! Enuf said! I don’t give a sh*t what some pathetic losers, who haven’t accomplished absolutely anything in their sad lives, say about Him. Haters gonna hate, who cares, but one thing is certain, he was, is and always will be the greatest driver of all-time.
    Farewell, Great Champion and Legend. I wish you nothing but happiness and all the best.

  • Tamburello_1994

    The most successful F-1 driver of all time, That’s for sure. But for me, Just like Michael Jordan, a somewhat tarnished legacy. He was a shadow of his former self.

    Good luck in future endeavours M.S. and enjoy your much delayed retirement.

  • javalocco

    i saw that almost all schumi haters are senna fans.
    i do not know why.
    but let me tell you, something that make Schumi better than senna is Schumi is alive while senna not

    Prost is like a machine, he drove with precision and calculation, he know when enough is enough.

    Senna is like a wild animal, he will do everything to win, I mean EVERYTHING, even cheating (that’s why he always blame other people cheat, because he usually cheat), even bet his live.

    I

  • javalocco

    I totally agree with Damon Hill that In tamburello he made mistake. Yes, a huge mistake. If you watch his overall career you know that senna often made this kind of mistakes.

    As human Prost and Schumacher made mistakes, but they know their limits while senna not.

    Schumacher = Prost + Senna, that’s why
    Schumacher win = Prost win + Senna win – 1

  • hillside

    how did Schumi tarnished his legacy?? last time i checked, its still 7 WDC, 91 wins etc. let me know if there are some changes

  • Bent Spark Plug

    Good…Now get out and stay out you cheat and be sure not to let the door slap your ass on the way out.

    Hang you Square Head in shame and recall your earlier days of distorting fact and truth – can you spell Traction & Control ?..or was that just a special ittle ” Red ” button that nobody else hate you CHEAT ? …Ohh and as for that collision with Damon Hill for the title in Adelaide mid ninties…FU#K YOU ! :-)

  • Richard

    i have been watching F1 since i was a small kid .I have seen schumi creating miracles in races .He is still the best driver i have seen .Pls don’t wrong this about a legend who is the owner of the most number of records in the sport .Anyways ,schumi i will miss you ,u r still the best driver i have seen and no one can ever replace him .

  • Richard

    i’m going to miss you schumi .no matter who criticise you ,but ur still the best driver i have ever seen .all the best to you .