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Schumacher insists he is still motivated at Mercedes

ESPN Staff
October 2, 2012 « Greece grants subsidy for F1 track | Massa not worrying about 2013 »
Michael Schumacher will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher says his motivation is still "completely intact" ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix despite the news earlier this week that he will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

Schumacher's future is now uncertain, with Ferrari the only front running team with a vacancy for 2013 but Sauber or retirement being rumoured as his main options. Despite being replaced at Mercedes, Schumacher said he would still approach this weekend's race in high spirits.

"My motivation is completely intact after the news last week, especially because Suzuka is one of the season's highlights for me," he said. "I enjoy the circuit - it has sections that challenge you as a driver like almost nowhere else. Then there are the fans: they love motor racing and it is fun to feel their passion. I'm also a big fan of Japanese food, so I'm always happy to travel to this race."

However, he is aware that his ten-place grid penalty for taking out Jean-Eric Vergne in Singapore will make his chances of a strong result slim.

"Logically, it would also be nice to achieve a sporting highlight this weekend, although my chances are of course very limited because of my grid penalty. But I've always approached these things as a challenge."