Saturday, October 6, 2012

Schumacher to Reenter Retirement After 2012 F1 Season

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

When Mercedes-Benz bought up Brawn GP at the end of 2009, the vision of the newly-created Mercedes GP "Silver Arrow" team was a German branded race car with an all-German driver line-up. Partnered with young gun Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP brought the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher out of retirement to campaign as the experienced wheelman for the new Silver Arrows team. Three years later, the holder of 91 grand prix wins and so many other Formula 1 records announced the end of his comeback appearance in the series.

At a Thursday press conference within Japan's Suzuka circuit where the Formula 1 tour is set to race Sunday, Michael Schumacher announced his three-season to the cockpit of the series will end after 2012. Speaking to the press, Schumacher said, "I have decided to retire from Formula One 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's retirement announcement roughly a week after Lewis Hamilton had been confirmed as jumping ship from McLaren for the Mercedes GP team.

As presented before in this blog and, Michael Schumacher's 2012 season with Mercedes GP has been far from form seen from the 7-time Formula 1 World Champion a decade ago. In terms of the performance in the Mercede-Benz W03 race car, Schumacher has recorded just a single podium in the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain after 14 races. Discounting the 2010 adjustment to the Formula 1 scoring system that opened the top-10 finishers to points-placing positions, the 2012 tour could be viewed as Michael Schumacher's worst-ever full season world championship performance. As opposed to his 10 years at Ferrari where he stood as the undisputed leader of the race team, Michael Schumacher was humbled by the younger Nico Rosberg who often outpaced the legendary driver. "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. With today’s decision I feel released from those doubts. In the end, it is not my ambition to just drive around but to fight for victories; and the pleasure of driving is nourished by competitiveness." said Schumacher.

In the press conference, Micheal Schumacher continued to say, "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."

Team principal for Mercedes GP Ross Brawn had a long career that had been greatly intertwined with Michael Schumacher's. Working with Schumacher at Benetton and Ferrari as well as the most recent stint at Mercedes GP, Brawn had some deep insight into the German driver being together for all seven driver championships in Formula 1. "Having worked with Michael for so many years, it is an emotional day today as he announces his retirement from Formula One for the second, and final, time. We have enjoyed so many experiences together during our time at Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes, and I feel very proud, honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Michael so closely. In my opinion, he is the greatest Formula One driver, and the records which he holds in our sport speak volumes for his success and commitment." said Ross Brawn.

With 6 races remaining, Michael Schumacher will be more committed than ever to influence his series-leading watermarks in Formula 1.

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