• Brazilian Grand Prix

Schumacher 'proud' of Vettel

ESPN Staff
November 22, 2012 « Hamilton primed for 'tough' goodbye | Massa wants win to help Alonso »
Sebastian Vettel can join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio as the only drivers to win three championships in a row © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher admits he has been proud watching Sebastian Vettel dominating Formula One in recent years.

Ahead of the final race of his career, Schumacher was asked for his memories of the title contenders. Having seen Fernando Alonso take the title in each of his last two seasons before retiring from the sport the first time, Schumacher admitted that he had different relationships with each but said he is proud of Vettel's recent success.

"Obviously with Fernando I have had quite a few more years together competing and fighting for championships," Schumacher said. "Obviously that is slightly different in this respect and it was tough moment, he was unfortunately in quite a few moments looking very strong and doing too good a job honestly, he should have taken it easy and looked after the old man!

"On Seb's side we have been friends for a long time and I sort of followed his career in to Formula One and seeing him doing so well obviously makes me proud. We've both grown up on my home track in Kerpen and to see from where he started to end up and kind of being dominant for quite a while recently that's quite an achievement."

Approaching his final race for the second time in Brazil, Schumacher said he is "rather relaxed" and "happy" to be retiring.

"I guess I have some experience and that's why I'm probably rather relaxed about the happenings. On top of that we're not in any championship fight compared to last time that I happened to be in obviously, so I'll just take the best out of it and enjoy it as much as I can. I have tried that mission to end successful - it didn't work this time - but I'm quite happy to finish here and go for a different life again.

"I just remember when I was in the early days I said if I'm going to do this four or five years that's probably going to be most of it and then I will be tired and I can't see myself doing it longer than this, and then obviously it became almost 21 years so I'm pretty sure it's difficult for these guys to imagine that long a time I had but let's see."