Schumacher: My final Formula 1 race was tremendous fun

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.

Michael Schumacher walks through parc ferme for the final time as an F1 driver after the Brazilian GP

Nov.26 (Reuters) Michael Schumacher said farewell to Formula One with a respectable seventh place for Mercedes at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday before  embracing for newly-crowned triple champion Sebastian Vettel.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03 with thank you flag on the parade lap. Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.By a remarkable coincidence, seventh was where he qualified in his first grand prix back in Belgium in 1991 for the now defunct Jordan team 308 races ago. The seven times champion also had the number seven on his car at Interlagos.

After a stellar 21-year career, the most successful by any Formula One driver with his record 91 wins, Schumacher recognised that his time was up at the age of 43.

His army of fans made clear they will miss the former Ferrari great all the same.

“On 25 Nov 2012, last day of the golden age of F1,” declared one banner in the grandstand overlooking the main Interlagos straight.

“Michael, F1 is nothing without you” and “Michael, we love you,” said others.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03. Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.

The former Ferrari great started in 13th place but, despite an early puncture and four pitstops, made the most of wet and chaotic conditions to end a run of six races without a point.

“We’re not really in a position to offer a lot of fireworks in this last race although I wish to …,” he had said, standing next to Red Bull’s champion Vettel on the pre-race drivers’ parade truck as they went around the circuit for the last race of the season

He did himself justice anyway, with a performance that showed some of his old ‘never-say-die’ philosophy as well as solid overtaking and ability to keep the car on the slippery asphalt.

“It’s been a pleasure to come back,” said the sport’s most successful driver, who won his titles and 91 races with Benetton and Ferrari before returning for an unsuccsessful stint with Mercedes.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1, right, celebrates with Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing after winning his third F1 World Championship in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.“I enjoyed most of it. It wasn’t as successful as we wanted it to be but still I learned a lot for life and I’m quite glad for the good emotions again. Now is a good time to go…”

Schumacher retired for the first time in Brazil in 2006 and came back in 2010.

With Mercedes he has just one podium finish to his credit, at the European Grand Prix in Valencia this season.

“My final Formula One race was tremendous fun,” he said as team members donned Schumacher farewell T-shirts post-race. “I would once again like to thank the team and all my fans for their support over the past years.

“I’ve enjoyed the time we’ve spent together very much indeed.”

Team principal Ross Brawn, who masterminded his titles at Benetton and Ferrari, repaid the compliment.

“In terms of results, his second spell in F1 hasn’t been as special but it has been so for all of us who have had the pleasure of working with him,” said the Briton.

Subbed by AJN.

  • F1 Fan

    Thanks for everything Michael ,i hope you enjoy your retirement.