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Schumacher announces retirement at end of season

ESPN Staff
October 4, 2012 « Kobayashi doesn't think Schumacher wants Sauber move | 'He's the greatest racing driver of this century" - Brawn »
Michael Schumacher will retire for a second time following the Brazilian Grand Prix next month © Press Association

Michael Schumacher has announced that he will retire from Formula One at the end of the season.

Schumacher's announcement follows news last week that he will be replaced at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton in 2013. Speaking to the media in Suzuka Schumacher confirmed that he would not be seeking a drive next season, saying he does not feel fully motivated to continue in the sport.

"I have decided to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, although I am still able to compete with the best drivers of the world. This is something that makes me proud, and this is part of why I never regretted my comeback. I can be happy with my performance and the fact that I was continuously raising my game during the last three years. But then, at some point it is time to say goodbye."

Schumacher returned to the sport in 2010 with Mercedes but in that time has scored just one podium and no victories. He took pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix this year but had to start from fifth due to a penalty from the previous round when he took Bruno Senna out of the race. He said he had not achieved the success he had yearned for when he came back.

"Already during the past weeks and months I was not sure if I would still have the motivation and energy which is necessary to go on; and it is not my style to do anything which I am not 100% convinced about. I have said at the end of 2009 that I want to be measured by my success, and this is why I had a lot of criticism in the past three years which partly was justified. It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goal to develop a world championship fighting car within those three years. It is also without doubt that I cannot provide a long-term perspective to anyone. But then it is also clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in Formula One."

"In the past six years I have learned a lot, also about me, and I am thankful for it: for example, that you can open yourself up without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning; something I had lost out of sight sometimes in earlier years. That you have to appreciate to be able to do what you love. That you have to live your convictions. I have opened my horizon, and I am at ease with myself.

"I would like to thank Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and the Team for their trust. But I also would like to thank all my friends, partners and companions, who over many good years in motorsport supported me. But most of all I would like to thank my family for standing always by my side, giving me the freedom to live my convictions and sharing my joy."