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Mercedes pays tribute to Schumacher

ESPN Staff
November 20, 2012 « Schumacher wants to 'savour' farewell | I won't be an easy touch - Grosjean »
Michael Schumacher has been with Mercedes since it rejoined Formula One in 2010 © Sutton Images

Mercedes is bracing itself for "an emotional weekend" as Michael Schumacher retires from Formula One for a second time.

Schumacher has raced for Mercedes for the past three years, coming out of retirement in 2010 to join the team as it rejoined the sport itself. Team principal Ross Brawn worked with Schumacher at both Benetton and Ferrari as he won seven world championships, and he said that it would be a special weekend at Interlagos.

"With the last race of the season in Brazil also bringing Michael's second and final retirement from Formula One, it will be an emotional weekend for everyone in the team," Brawn said. "We have both greatly enjoyed and benefitted from working with Michael over the past three years, and I would like to pay tribute to his enduring commitment, passion and team spirit.

"The results that we all hoped for over that period have not come to fruition, however the progress that our team has made has been significant, and I am confident that we will see the rewards in seasons to come. Having worked with Michael for the majority of the 21 seasons of his career, I feel that he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Formula One driver of all time, and we wish him the very best with his future plans."

Norbert Haug paid tribute to Schumacher's input in helping develop Mercedes both on and off the track.

"This weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix will bring a long, hard Formula One season to a close," Haug said. "It will also mark the final Formula One race of Michael Schumacher's career and we must thank him both for his committed contribution to the building-up process of our team and also his performances on track. Michael isn't just the most successful racing driver in the world but also the best known; his ability and character are admired around the globe."

Team-mate Nico Rosberg added that it had been "a great experience" to race alongside Schumacher.

"The weekend will be a special one for our team as Michael is retiring after three years with us," Rosberg said. "I wish him all the best for the future and it was a great experience for me to race with and against him."