Between 1994 and 2004, Michael Schumacher was the driver to beat, as he won seven F1 Driver’s Championships during that span. After retiring following the 2006 season, Schumacher took a cushy “Advisor” position with Ferrari. It was clear that racing was not out of Schumacher’s system yet and he returned in the 2010 season to race for Mercedes GP. Schumacher never regained his form and endured very rough 2010, 2011, and, thus far, 2012 seasons.
Well, after finding out that Lewis Hamilton was taking over his slot at Mercedes in 2013, we all pretty much assumed he would fade off into retirement. It didn’t take long for Schumacher to confirm our assumptions, as he just announced this morning that he will retire (again) following the 2012 racing season. There was some speculation that he would head to Sauber to take the place of Sergio Perez, but that is apparently a no-go.
Schumacher, in a cheeky manner, poked fun at himself via the Associated Press, by saying “…at some point it’s time to say goodbye and this time it might be forever.” Well, we wish Michael all of the best and we thank him for his 18 years of involvement with F1. We’re sure he’ll back his way into management somewhere – possibly even with Mercedes, who just signed the new Concorde Agreement. Regardless of the last three years, he will forever go down as one of the best drivers to ever grace open-wheel racing.
We’ll keep an eye on Schumacher’s movement and let you know if he is considering moving back behind the scenes as he did with Ferrari.
Click past the jump to read Michael Schumacher’s press release.
Michael to leave Formula 1
Retirement at the end of the season - ”I am at ease with myself”
"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 Good-Bye.
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.
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 critizism in the past 3 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 3 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 1.
In the past 6 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."