Schumacher announces F1 retirement
Michael Schumacher has announced that the 2012 Formula 1 season will be his last.
The seven-time world champion broke the news during a press conference prior to this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Schumacher’s impending departure from Mercedes, with whom he re-entered the sport in 2010, was confirmed last week when the team announced that it had poached Lewis Hamilton from McLaren.
Schumacher reflected on his second career during the announcement, having scored just one podium and no victories driving the Silver Arrows.
“Although I am still able and capable to compete with the best drivers that are around, at some point it is good to say goodbye, and that is what I am doing this season. This time it might even be forever,” he said.
“During the past month, I was not sure if I still had the motivation and energy which is necessary to go on. It is not my style to do something that I am not 100 per cent feeling for.
“With today’s decision, I feel released from those doubts and in the end my ambition to fight for victories and the pleasure of driving is nourished by competitiveness.
“It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goals to develop a world championship fighting car, but it is also very clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in the whole time of my career.
“In the past six years I have learned a lot about myself. For example, that you can open yourself without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning.
“Sometimes I lost sight of this in the early years, but you appreciate to be able to do what you love to do (and) that you should live your convictions and I was able to do so.
“I would obviously like to thank Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, the team, the engineers, and all my mechanics for all the trust that they put in those years in to myself.
“I would also like to thank all of my friends, partners and companions who over many years in motorsport supported myself.”
Schumacher had been briefly linked to Sauber following the news that he would be replaced by Hamilton at Mercedes.