Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher retires from Formula One... again

 

As was widely expected, Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher today announced he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season.

Since the announcement that Lewis Hamilton had signed a three-year contract with the Mercedes team in place of the German driver, Schumacher was put in a position where a decision over his future needed to be made.

There were suggestions that the seven-time world champion could join Sauber, but three years after returning to the sport after his first retirement, Schumacher has instead opted to call it a day.

"I have decided to retire at the end of the season," said the 43-year-old.

"I still feel I am capable of competing against the best but the time sometimes comes to say goodbye and this time it might be forever."

He added: "I had been thinking about whether I had the necessary motivation to carry on but I do not want to do something I am not 100 per cent committed to. Having made the decision I now feel a release.

"It's not painful, it is a relief to me, I have done so much in this sport but when the battery is going low the first time, and then it is doing so again, and I am older, it is something I am looking forward to.

"There are plenty of other things in life you can do and now is the time to change that."

Schumacher, who won five straight titles between 2000 and 2004 while with Ferrari, retired back in 2006, 15 years after making his driving debut with Jordan-Ford at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix.

When Felipe Massa was injured in a freak accident during practice for the 2009 Grand Prix, there were suggestions that Schumacher could be called out of retirement to step into the spare seat at Ferrari. In the end, that didn't transpire, but it put the possibility of a return back in Schumacher's mind, and the following season it was announced that he would drive for Mercedes.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

His return was met with much fanfare, although there were doubts that at the age of 40 he would be able to hit his previous heights, and sadly they were proved true. Now in his third season since returning, Schumacher has stood upon the podium just once, when he came third in Valencia earlier this year.

A visibly emotional Schumacher was flanked by Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn and Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug as he made his announcement earlier today.

Haug said: "I thank Michael. We have known each other a long time, we started together in Group C racing and he went on to be the most successful driver in Formula One, winning more races and titles than any other driver.

"We were competitors against him (when Schumacher was at Ferrari with Mercedes supplying McLaren with engines) and we had always dreamed of working together and it came after Brawn Mercedes won the World Championship in 2009.

"We did not achieve what we wanted to but Michael has laid some strong foundations and I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart."

Brawn said: "I think he is the greatest racing driver of this century and I was very privileged to work with Michael, we had some fantastic times, some tough times, but also some very successful times.

"Michael brought a lot to the team in his second period in the sport that people don't see.

"We haven't achieved what we wanted to achieve but what we achieve in future, Michael will have made a contribution to it.

"For me personally he is the greatest racing driver of this century."

Schumacher has confidence in the man filling his seat at Mercedes.

"We all know Lewis is one of the best drivers we have around and I am sure he and the team will have a successful future," he said.

"The team had an option in Lewis that helped me decide.

"I was in the picture when negotiations were going on but I was not sure about myself. I have no hard feelings."

Schumacher currently lies 12th in the driver standings, 50 points behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Click here to see 'the best and worst of Michael Schumacher'

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing