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Analysis: Michael Schumacher decides to retire for good
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Oct 2012   |  10:30 am GMT  |  195 comments

[Updated] Michael Schumacher has called time on his second coming in F1, the seven times world champion announced today that the Brazilian Grand Prix will be his 306th and last.

At 43 years 277 days, Schumacher is nearly twice the age he was when he made his F1 debut at the 1991 Belgian GP (22 years 235 days) and he holds the record for the longest period between his first and last GP starts.

Schumacher, 43, was forced into retirement for the second time by Mercedes’ decision to hire Lewis Hamilton, which followed a period of indecision from Schumacher about whether to sign on for another year. It follows his decision in 2006 to quit, which led to three years on the sidelines before his dramatic decision to come back with Mercedes in 2010.

“Although I am still able to compete with the best drivers, at some point it is good to say goodbye,” he said in Suzuka on Thursday.

“During the past month I was not sure if I still had the motivation and energy which is necessary to go on. It is not my style to go on if I’m not 100% with it but with today’s decision I feel relieved.

“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 said at the end of 2009 that I want to be measured by my success, and this is why I had a lot of criticism in the past three years which partly was justified.

“It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goals to develop a world championship fighting car. But it is also very clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in the whole time of my career.


“In the past six years I have learned a lot about myself. For example, that you can open yourself without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning. Sometimes I lost sight of this in the early years. But you appreciate to be able to do what you love to do. That you should live your convictions and I was able to do so.”

This last paragraph is a nod in the direction of some of his mistakes in his early career, where he crossed the line of what is and is not acceptable in the pursuit of winning in sport. It’s the closest he will come to apologising for events like Monaco 2006 and others.

Schumacher’s comeback has indeed yielded precious few results and a lot of disappointments. There was one pole position, in Monaco, which was taken away with a grid penalty carried over from Spain for causing a collision.

There was no win and just one podium, from his race in Valencia, while he scored four fourth places among his results in the 52 races since his comeback. He scored points on 30 of those 52 races, but also had some bad luck with mechanical failures, especially this year, where he has retired five times with reliability issues. In total he has retired 7 times in 2012, the most in the field.

He averaged 3.6 points over the three years, which is the equivalent of an eighth place at every race.

In comparison to team mate Rosberg, who hasn’t had a great season since his win in China in April, (apart from P2 in Monaco) Schumacher scored 191 points compared to Rosberg’s 324 in the 52 race period since the start of 2010. Rosberg’s average is 6.2 points per race.

In qualifying, Schumacher is ahead of his team mate this year, averaging position 7.7 on the grid, compared to 8.5 for Rosberg.

In 2011 Rosberg was on average P7.6 on the grid and Schumacher P10.5, so there has been a marked improvement in his qualifying performance this year.

He’s outqualified Rosberg 8-6 this season. The last occasion that Schumacher led a Grand Prix was on this track in Suzuka in 2011.

In Spa Bernie Ecclestone said that it was a shame that Schumacher would be “leaving us without a win” on his comeback and he and Mercedes will feel the same way. In reality the car wasn’t particularly close to it, except for the China weekend this year which Rosberg capitalised on and Monaco.

Had Schumacher not made that mistake in Spain, crashing into Bruno Senna, he would have started from pole in Monaco and that could have given him the win, given how competitive Rosberg’s car was in the race (notwithstanding his car let him down in the race)

The timing of the Hamilton announcement and Schumacher’s statement today is particularly cruel, given that it comes after one of his worst mistakes in the last three years; rear ending Jean Eric Vergne in Singapore, for which he was given another grid penalty carried over to this weekend in Japan.

It is a real low note on which to conduct the business of losing your seat and subsequently stepping down and it comes after a period in which he has rediscovered his groove.

Many fans that will be disappointed that he has not been taken up by Ferrari or Sauber, but F1 is an unsentimental business and the sport is moving on, like a train, leaving the 43 year old behind on the platform for good.

It’s hard to see him reinventing himself in a team management role, given the changes that have happened at Mercedes with Niki Lauda coming in. If there was a role for Schumacher, that was probably it, although Ross Brawn did say in Monza that Schumacher’s expertise in engines would be very valuable to them in development of the 2014 engines. But that was before they hired Hamilton.

Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche said in Bild newspaper this week, “I hope that when Michael stops driving, he will remain a partner of Mercedes.”

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195 Comments
  1. Tim says:

    So Sauber’s seat is Jaime’s?

    Tim

    1. Søren Kühle says:

      Nope.. Massa’s

      Jaime replaces Hulk or Di Resta in Force india.

      ;)

      1. Onko says:

        Man.you are spot on,Fact, Germany is the
        second biggest market after USA for Ferrari
        and as the saying goes you scratch my back
        and I will scratch yours in business point of
        view, and if I was betting man Hulk is an even
        money to partner Alonso next year, the other is
        Kubica at shorter odds, simply Alonso’s close
        friend and needs an other year or so to get F1
        fully fit thus Alonso rule the roost.

      2. Maarten says:

        Well you are dead wrong on Germany being the biggest market after the USA for Ferrari….China has already taken that spot if they haven’t taken top position already this year….

      3. Sharon Gee says:

        Michael Schumacher is still in a class of his own!Far too good to retire, just give him the right car! once a Schumi fan always a Schumi fan! Wait and see what happens in 2013!

  2. Craig D says:

    I think it’s for the best. Though he still has enough skill to compete at a very good level, it’s very doubtful he can ever achieve like he did before (though with a decent enough car, he could win races I am sure).

    However with recent commentary pieces such as the lack of rising stars or quality drivers missing out through lack of funding and seats, I think it’s time to free up space and allow opportunity for a potential future great to come through hopefully.

    I would say I’ve grown to like Schumacher more during his comeback than in his first career. But maybe that’s because it’s easier to like an underdog and it’s harder to support someone when they would dominate as much as he did before, which made the sport a lot duller than it is now!

    1. Brent McMaster says:

      I think age has mellowed Schumacher, made him a little more human.

    2. Sebee says:

      Schumi admits “Hand was forced.” I think he just yielded to Lewis. I don’t think German fans will be too happy about it. Lucky they have Vettel to fall back on.

      http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns24524.html

      1. Ahmed says:

        Schumacher did not yield. Mercedes has been trying to get him to make a decision since Silverstone, however he was not ready to commit to another year until he was sure of the 2013 Mercedes being able to fight for wins/podiums.
        Schumacher has been battling away trying to develop that dog of a car for 3 years, and whilst they did make progress in early 2012, they could not overcome the tyre degradation issues.
        It is clear that Brawn had hoped to deliver a car capable of fighting for the championship, however in 2012 they will most likely be 5th or 6th best constructor.
        That is the reason why Schuey was undecided, he was not sure of the 2013 car, and Brawn has made it clear that Mercedes are pinning their hopes on the 2014 regulations.
        Schuey’s decision = race again in 2013 in a mid field car, and wait till 2014 (aged 45+) or retire. Simple decision in the end.

        Thankyou for all of the memories, i will be constantly watching you at your best in youtube clips. No doubt, you are one of the best ever sportsmen in history across all sports not just F1!!!
        That is something that cannot be said about any other F1 driver…

      2. Vino says:

        So, what about all those stories of Schumi developing cars in Ferrari with Brawn?

        This shows its not Schumi who developed cars in Ferrari and this is same another “Car developer” Alonso.

      3. Ahmed says:

        Schumi was undoubtedly the reason for the turn around of Ferrari from 1996 onwards. Ferrari were a basket case midfield team, equivalent to Torro Rosso in todays field. He went from a double championship winning team (Bennetton), and turned down offers from Maclaren and Williams, who were the top contenders at the time. It was Brawn etc who followed Schumi to Ferrari, not the other way around. He is widely regarded for his dedication, respect and feedback to his engineers and got the whole team behind him.
        Brawn and Haug have acknowledged that they would not be where they are today in Mercedes without Schumi. He has improved the car, however with Mercedes initially working on half the budget of the big teams(2010), and Brawn in a recruiting phase over the last 3 years, this has not come together quickly enough. Other manufacturers like Lotus and Sauber have done a better job with less budgets. This is why Brawn/Haug feel guilty about letting Schumacher down with an uncompetitive car.

      4. tayf says:

        @vino how do you know that the perofmance of the Mercedes would not have been worse had Schumacher not been involved? This is why you aren’t an engineer.

  3. Neshaen says:

    Goodbye Schumacher.
    It was good while it lasted!
    Still think you made the wrong decision BUT each to their own i suppose!

    1. thejudge13 says:

      Maybe he’s just holding out for Ferrari – James piece yesterday about Luca’s comments on recruiting a driver who will ‘bother’ Alonso if he doesn’t win the WDC is intriguing.

      It means the title could only be decided at the end of November so Montezemolo’s recruitment rules for Alonso are as follows:

      Win the title – we keep Massa or recruit a driver who is no challenge

      Don’t win the – title we may recruit a driver who’ll challenge you.

      The list of available driver’s who can do this is not long. http://wp.me/s2HWOP-419

    2. Sebee says:

      What’s really sad is that we can automtically forget any hope of his return like we had in 2006.

      The Schumi story is over! Rubens is relieved that he will get to keep that most GP starts record.

      So long Schumi. You raced Senna, Prost, Mansel, Mika, Villeneuve, Hill…ahh…too many names to name.

      Over your twnety years you’ve held the WDC an amazing 35% of that time! Over the 20 years Germany has held teh WDC 45% of the time. I can’t be bothered to do the math, but I’m sure you scored 35% of the available points too somehow.

      For all of you who want to shed a tear – true fans shed Schumi tears to “Der Champ” by This Side Up. Ohh Schumi Schumi…:-)

  4. F1racer says:

    Totally gutted!

    But my respects to the legend of F1 and one of the greatest drivers the world has seen. Will watch the remaining 6 races just for him.

    1. **Paul** says:

      Schumacher has proven he has the talent to put hugely different machines at the sharp end of the grid in F1. Roll back to his first pole in 1992, and here in 2012 we saw him put a Mercedes on pole at Monaco (gearbox pen blah blah – it was the fastest lap). That’s an amazing achievement, the evolution of F1 in that period is immense. To be able to adapt and continue to perform at a high level is brilliant. I’ve huge respect for the guy and his courage to come back and race in a car which we all know was some way off the pace.
      Kudos to you Michael!

      1. Phillip says:

        Thanks for a smart comment, Paul. I never did like Schumacher much, but there was way too much talent there for me not to respect him.

        We have seen flashes of his old self and I can’t help but think that another year in the car would have reaped rewards. Mercedes was certainly moving the right way and MS’ quali was getting better and better.

        I have been rooting for him, this second time around and it is a shame that he was never given equipment that allowed him to fight on the level that he is used to.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Can you explain how Mercedes have been moving in the right direction?

        2010 WCC Standings 4th 214 pts
        2011 WCC Standings 4th 165 pts
        2012 WCC Standings 5th 136 pts

        Granted there are still 6 races left. But they are nearly 100 points behind Lotus. So 4th is very unlikely.
        Is it because they dominated a single race in a crazy start to the season where 7 different drivers won?
        Was it pole position in China and Monaco (pre-penalty?)
        They have followed the same pattern over the last 4 years. I include Brawn in this as well because that is the nucleus of the team.
        They progressively fall behind throughout the season, not keeping pace with the other teams developments.
        Since they have been Mercedes, one of their weaknesses has been tyre degradation.

        MSC has been getting better and better relative to Rosberg, but again it depends on how highly you rate Rosberg.

      3. Kimi4WDC says:

        Thank you Sir!

    2. Ace says:

      It’s a sad day for F1 as Schuey is the last of the legends to have driven with the likes of Senna,Prost,Mansell,Hill,Alesi,Breger etc. He has driven in the era that required extra ordinary skills to keep pushing the cars at the very limit and he showed in his early days that he had raw speed and talent.

      The formula one circus needs to look at a way that the Champions of the sport are still involved somehow through a support race that runs with the season and invites the greats to participate.You would probably sell more tickets to races as well.

      I agree that the young guys need a chance to step up to the plate but the sport is nothing without the history and the achievements of individual drivers and their personalities.

      The new guys today almost sound like robots when addressing the media you very rarely see the individual personality come through.

      Vettel for example comes across with no personality when interviewed by the F1 media. I then saw him on Top Gear and my opinion of him changed immensely.

      The Schumacher era showed the emotions of drivers much more than the current races today.
      Moto GP has definately got it right and you can see the passion and individuality of each rider.

      I look forward to watching the balance of races with Schuey still out there doing what he does best “Driving with Passion”

      It will be a while before a driver achieves 7 world Championships like Michael.

  5. Wayne says:

    Good luck to the man. Back in the day, when I was a huge Damon Hill fan, I had no time for this guy. But time and perspective have allowed me to respect his incredible achievements in F1 – some of which may never be rivalled.

    His comeback might not have been covered in glory but then it’s almost impossible to win in F1 without one of the best cars – and he’s never had that this time around. Does anyone doubt that he would have won a race in a McLaren or a RBR? Of course he would have.

    Indeed this year he has completely proven that he is at least on the level of Rosberg despite his age. He has outqualified him and would be much closer on points were it not for reliability.

    His most recent career does not in any way detract from his previous achievements.

    1. CarlH says:

      I think Rosberg is one of the big losers in all of this.

      He’s failed to shine since his win in China and Schumi has equalled (if not bettered) him recently. Now he’s being paired with one of the quickest drivers in the world who will probably feel as though he’s got a point to prove.

      I think he can kiss goodbye to winning the WDC any time soon.

      1. James Allen says:

        And who always beat him on the way up through the ranks..

      2. MJ says:

        What’s that got to do with it? This isn’t Karts or f3 its F1, yesterday doesn’t count in the f1 battlefield. Lewis will spank Rosberg.

      3. ben S says:

        How can he be considered the biggest loser in all this? he was never a world beater with his China win a mere set of fortuitous circumstance that for once he took full advantage of. The 43 year old put him in his place IMO for the most part. He can’t be considered a loser when he was never a serious contender.

      4. CarlH says:

        “he was never a world beater”

        Precisely the point I was trying to make. But, rate him or not, if Mercedes had produced a car that was head and shoulders above the rest next year or in 2014 he would be good enough to take advantage of it (as in China). Now however, no matter how good the car is he will always have Hamilton in front of him.

        Hence, he is “one of” the biggest losers in the situation.

      5. ben S says:

        Carl – but my point is that he is a perennial rear gunner and should count himself lucky to be at a top team. I like the fella and he’s a decent enough driver who will deliver both points and from what little I know of him, exceptional engineering feedback and understanding in the garage as well as on the track but nothing has changed. He’s 2nd of 2 as he always has been since moving to the Silver Arrows and would arguably be at any of the top 5 teams. Status Quo as far as he’s concerned.

    2. Phillip says:

      Could not agree more, Wayne. In my pipe dream, Nico goes to Sauber and Hamilton & Schuey form a “dream team” – Michaels wits and skill and Lewis’ fearlessness and aggression.

      I too, was a Damon Hill fan at the time, so I did not appreciate MS until later in his career.

      1. Wayne says:

        Was a nice dream, phillip, I still wonder how good Hamilton is at developing a car without a Schumi-like charecter in the team. Guess now we’ll find out – there’s no doubting Hamilton’s brilliance in a car, now we’ll see how good he is in the gargage.

      2. Peter C says:

        Garbage? Good, I think.

      3. Sebee says:

        Honestly and obviously, Nico can be pushed out.

        As I said before, Hamilton is sentimental and would love to race for a season with Schumi. And Mercedes obviously get WAAAAY more marketing value out of Schumi than Nico. At least Schumi is the age of a Mercedes buyer in most markets, so buyers can relate and be inspired to buy a Benz not a Bemmer. Few million euros for Mercedes to dump Nico – let’s be honest, it’s a decision that can be made over coffee.

        The issue is that Schumi is not the forceful type anymore. He won’t push Nico out, and definately not Massa out at Ferrari. It’s just not where he is mentally. He doesn’t need it. He looks at it as bad karma probably. If the Schu fits, he’ll wear it, but he won’t force it.

      4. Bill says:

        Brawn dumped schumi quite badly, like some middle aged guy who dumps his long time wife for some 20 year old blonde with fake knockers.
        And it’s the second time he’s done it!
        First for raikonnen and now for Hamilton. Raikonnen won in 2007 because mclaren shot themselves in the foot with the fastest car. Massa almost won in 2008, schumi would have walked it. SO if he hadn’t been pushed out in 08 he could have had two more titles.
        That would have been some decent racing, schumi in his prime with a good car versus alonso and hamilton in mclarens

    3. Ace says:

      Well said. Your on the money 100%

  6. Nick F1 says:

    Remains 6 races to go, so will see what will be
    the note either the real low note to conduct the business or the high one ! I presume the second one !

  7. Kay says:

    Is it time for MSC to stop?
    No!

    Coz he should’ve never come back and left his career ended on a high! Not that I like him, but not coming back would’ve done him more good. It’s really sad for a 7 champ to have achieved so much to end like that.

    Seeing MSC end like that does make me fear for Alonso and Hamilton’s careers.

    1. Richard D says:

      I’m with you on that; it was always wrong to come back after such a successful first F1 career. I often wondered whether he wouldn’t have come back if it wasn’t for Massa’s accident. I know he didn’t fill in for Massa at Ferrari, but there was a lot of talk that he would. Following on from that his comeback to Mercedes was announced; possibly a connection? His incompetent crash into the back of Vergne in the last race signalled that it was time to end his second F1 career.

  8. AuraF1 says:

    Never a Schumacher fan but it’s a sad day anyway. He was actually just starting to beat his teammate and showed some spark on the old school tracks.

    If nothing else he’s shown that you can carry on in formula 1 longer than anyone expected. Maybe 43 was pushing it but I bet he’s convinced those in their 30s not to give way too early.

    1. CarlH says:

      Good point. I’d hate to see guys like Alonso and Raikkonen bow out too soon when they’ve still got something to give.

      Obviously it depends on the individual and their motivation/fitness but I feel a few have retired too soon in recent years (Hakkinen and Schumacher the first time around, for instance).

      Hopefully Schumi has redefined the expected retirement age in F1, possibly like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have done as footballers?

      1. AuraF1 says:

        I agree with that. Most champions used to drive until they were older but the increase in physical fitness as the car speeds increased generally demanded younger men (ironically it was probably Schumacher mk1 who took the idea of a driver as a hardcore physical athlete to a new level – having spoken to some of the physical trainers in the business Michael always had my admiration for pushing his physical limits – apparently still did often putting some of the 20-something’s to shame in the gym). I think Schumacher just proved that physically at least men can continue to push if they have the determination.

        As you say Alonso and raikonnen might have seemed too old by 34-35 previously but with Schumachers second career they might even consider the 40+ category if they continue.

        I think the biggest downfall for Schumacher was probably the 3 year retirement rather than his exact age.

        I’ve worked with athletes a lot and the majority don’t retire through age but the accumulation of injuries or lack of desire. If you stay in shape and still have the hunger I suspect we’ll see more than a few over 40s drivers in future generations.

        So even as a non Schumacher fan I applaud his second career for what it did accomplish, even if it’s generally seen as a disappointment, it may help keep the generation below him from jumping ship and trying to make a comeback.

  9. Truth or Lies says:

    Michael retires, truly the end of an era, what a racer, so much spirit and determination and great humility too, especially in the later part of both his F1 careers.

    I understand now, why he came back, to be totally complete as a racer and a man he needed to experience pain and loss and in doing so has one a special place in all but the hardest hearts.

    Thank you Michael for all you’ve given, it’s been an amazing couple of decades.

    Warmest wishes in retirement, live long and enjoy.

    1. Søren Kühle says:

      Hear hear!
      What a nice way to put it

    2. Niner says:

      Nicely put.

      I think Michael’s comeback really puts into perspective why I’ve watched F1 for over three decades:

      To see boys put on battle gear and become men.

      The technology and, yes, the politics occasionally dominate the racing, but ultimately I love F1 because of the personalities who make it their business to race one another for the prize of a life less ordinary.

      One of the things that astounded me about Schumi’s comeback was the sheer humility involved in knowing that he had already gone out on top (seven WC’s), and that perspective of his legacy could be tainted by his performance at Mercedes.

      I admit it was difficult to watch him perform like a rookie for much of the last three years, and there’s no doubt – as he himself admits – that the results have been underwhelming.

      But I think there is absolutely no shame in testing yourself as a human being – pitting yourself against those that are younger, fitter, stronger and faster, holding your previous achievements lightly in the pursuit of further challenges, and discovering your capacity to look failure and setback in the eye and greet them as worthy teachers for your soul.

      That Schumi got in a car again, knowing the world would be watching, writing, blogging and posting is a testament to an extremely focused and competitive individual revealing a complex, mature and humble spirit in the midst of it all.

      If Schumi leaves us with anything, it’s the reminder that F1 – for all its bureaucratic wrangling and legislative defensiveness – is a deeply human sport in which the most advanced technological machinery is piloted, after all, by a guy in a suit with a head and a heart.

  10. Kevsuths says:

    I was never his greatest fan but im disappointed to see him bow out like this. Would have like to see him with at least a win under his belt.

  11. IP says:

    There’s still time for him to make one last attempt at glory… I think it’d be nice if the championship went down to the last race with, say, Hamilton needing to win and Alonso to DNF and then schuey spoils the party by winning. As someone who isn’t a schumi fan even I would like that! :-)

  12. Rodger says:

    Damn.
    The greatest ever leave’s the greatest stage.
    You will be missed Schumi!
    No one but you could have turned Ferrari into world-beaters again.

  13. ajit says:

    His points averages, finishes, podiums, crashes etc. all resemble that of a sensational rookie. His 3 years at Mercedes have tapered his career graph to an interesting shape…that no other greats have.

    Also he leaves the all time table with a 91-51-41-31 rhythm…its upto Alonso to fill that 61 wins record :)

    Nice analysis James. Thank you.

    1. nns27 says:

      still 6 r aces to go so stat may change a bit

  14. Steve Brisbane Oz says:

    Hi All

    Sighted this statement on a commercial news site here in Oz. So had to check the JA site for confirmation. Thanks James!

    I’m sure many had guessed this after the Hamilton announcement. Best wishes to MS, and I agree, he did appear to be back on song [almost].

    Big day on Sunday for us Aussie motorsport fans, full 8hrs of Bathurst 1000 on TV then Suzuka live…hope I have enough beer and prawns for the guests????

    1. Peter C says:

      One of my biggest disappointments over the last years is that I can no longer watch Bathurst in UK.
      All the years of the Walkinshaw Jaguar XJSs, Peter Brock & all those guys,I saw them – it’s a real shame not to see the modern Holdens performing at Mount Panorama.
      The only Bathurst I’ve seen was accidentally on YouTube……Fangio in GP Mercedes vs. Jack Brabham in F1 Cooper (or maybe Tasman formula)

      1. James Allen says:

        I agree, love that race. And the commentators’ chats with the drivers as they went around, with rotating cameras..

      2. Peter C says:

        Car-cam. Pioneered by Aussies, I believe.

        By the way, Fangio won that. He must have been nearly 70 & was four-wheel-drifting the big ’55 GP Mercedes down off The Mountain.

        One of the problems of current times – no sense of history. Too much to do, I guess.

      3. HFEVO2 says:

        I’ve driven round the track and it’s even better than it looks on TV.

        If there’s one extra race a year that should be on UK TV it’s Bathurst.

        The whole V8 season would be infinitely better to have on TV than British Touring cars.

      4. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        Channel 10 live stream the race. Next year will be interesting as there will be four manufacturers – GM (Holden), Ford, Nissan and shock horror Mercedes.

        Perhaps Schumacher will race there next year!!!!!

  15. Tank says:

    I think that another year at Mercedes was the only option left in his career, and that was lost to Hamilton a week ago.

    A very sad day for this fan, as sad as the Italian Grand Prix 2006 – albeit without victory to soften the blow.

    As mentioned in a previous post, his comeback did give me the opportunity to see him racing “in the flesh”, and for that, for me personally, his comeback was worth it.

    I wish he could win again, but the luck hasn’t been there and as romantic as it would be to end the career, it probably won’t happen.

  16. Señor Sjon says:

    I wish Schumacher the best and I still hate to see him go. F1 just got a lot less interesting, the current rules are not my cup of tea (tires, DRS, RRA, engines, tracks, penalties, qualy, no testing, etc) and when I lack someone to cheer for, the interest will soon wane. Wherever there was Schumacher fighting, something interesting could happen. I still love the racing like Monza ’11 (again, a new rule… another rule… jay).

    The sport just lost his main character imo.

    Maybe the media should show some rear-ending video’s from the past? They got medieval on Schumacher for the Singapore shunt.

    Webber in Valencia (no penalty)
    Verstappen – Montoya in Brazil (fine due to being backmarker hitting one of the leaders, no penalty)
    Hill – Schumacher twice 1995 (no penalty)
    Senna – Mansell? (no penalty)
    Coulthard – rest of the field in Spa ’98 (no penalty)
    Coulthard – Schumacher in Spa (no penalty)
    And many, many more.

    1. Chris G says:

      Hi Senor Sjon
      You may need to review your facts as Coulthard span out from near the front at Spa 98 causing incident and then was rear ended by Schumacher after restart.

      Webber’s accident was due to closing speeds rather than piling into a braking zone and he certainly came out of that one worse for wear.

      And although I agree Hill took out Schumacher (and probably should have got pentalties as those moves were optimistic at best) one must concede that Schumacher blatently taking out Hill in Adelaide to win (and keep) the championship kind of leveled things a bit.

      Schumacher was never a victim and his accident last week was poor driving and could have been a lot nastier

      If you have a point I don’t feel you’ve demonstrated it effectively.

      C

    2. Robert says:

      100% agree with you. His retirement is almost like a funeral for me. Very sad day for me, but luckily we have a few races left.

      I believe that if you look at Michael’s F1 careers, he was punished more than any other driver for similar situations in F1.

    3. Bill says:

      I agree, these modern regs totally suck and dull the racing. Any little incident is penalised by a 5 or 10 place penalty. And then everyone wonders why no one overtakes anymore. Overtaking is a risk, sometimes it goes wrong. Part of motorsport, these stewards have gone on such a massive power trip these last few years.
      Yeah, I’m certain Coulthard did it on purpose in Spa 98. With hakkinen out of the race, mclaren did everything they could to stop schumi getting 10 pts. Schumi thought so at the time, and then reconfirmed at Japan the next year when Coulthard held him up

  17. gudien says:

    Goodbye Michael. Time to do something else.

  18. zamkh says:

    As a Schumacher Fan, disappointed to see him retire without winning on his comeback but hope it still happens before he hangs up his helmet.

    Good decision to retire.

  19. Anil says:

    It’s probably the right time for Michael to go given that if he went to another team he’d have to start the process of ‘building a team’ again and he’s too old for that.

    That said, he still has it and I’m amazed he’s put on some of the performances he has given his age (qualifying this year in Silverstone, germany and Monaco was brilliant to watch).

    A disappointing way to go though however I really admired his leaving speech, particularly about how he has learnt to open himself up.

    F1 will be slightly less interesting for me now given that a true legend will be leaving for good, however with the quality of drivers we still have I’m sure I’ll still be as hooked as ever next year.

    Happy retirement michael. Here’s hoping for a wet race in Brazil for Michael to take one last win.

  20. Spyros says:

    I can’t imagine Schu as a manager. But if it happened, I really don’t see him do it at Mercedes.

    And given all the brouhaha over the ‘Hamilton brand’ coming to the team, I doubt he’ll have much of an ambassadorial role for very long, either.

  21. Finch says:

    I wonder if he would have stayed if Mercedes had not signed Hamilton? Another “what if?” in F1 history.

    1. glen says:

      As Murray Walker used to say ‘if’ is F1 spelt backwards.

  22. Morten says:

    I for one will be sad to see him leave.

    I don’t believe he sacrificed his legacy in favor of a second F1 career.

  23. Fireman says:

    So, Heikki Kovalainen to Sauber perhaps?

    1. Fireman says:

      Four minutes after writing this, a story is published where Heikki said to Finnish media that he’s likely to continue with Caterham.

      “No serious negotiations with other teams.”

      I hope they can take the tenth place back then.

      1. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        James – any insight as to why Heikki is so unloved by the other teams?

      2. Kay says:

        Not James here, but actually I’ve always wondered the opposite: Why do people rate Heikki so highly?

      3. James Allen says:

        Because they like him. There’s a lot of that in F1.

  24. Soz says:

    Michael, I for one am sad to see you go. Even as a long standing McLaren fan, you were always a thrill to watch. When everybody else bitched about your domination in the Ferrari years, I just said “They’ve all got the same job to do. He’s just doing the job better”
    And when I bugged you for an autograph in the dive shop in Melbourne in 2003, you were gracious, patient and accomodating, at a time where you didn’t need to be.
    Many thanks, and best wishes.
    Soren

  25. Rach says:

    I just hope he is happy at home. The thing I admire most about schumi is how he just wants to race. Obviously ideally he wanted to win but the competition and the part of bring in a team was clearly enjoyable. I find this incredible considering what he has won in the past.

    I will remember fondly his comeback mostly because it was more about personal satisfaction rather than sitting at home counting his millions.

    1. Bim says:

      +1
      Big Schumifan and i must say big Merc-hater now the way they threw him out, they could have handled this much better.
      F1 will not be the same for me…

      1. Bill says:

        Agreed. Not getting anywhere near a merc for the rest of my life. A bmw is a better driver’s car and a lexus is more reliable and luxurious. Had mine for 6 years and only had to spent £90 once to repair the handbrake. With a merc I’m sure a lot more would have gone wrong.
        I suggest every schumi bans mercs

  26. hero_was_senna says:

    Just one comment, even if Schumi hadn’t collided with Senna in Spain and subsequently taken pole position in Monaco, he retired because of fuel pressure problems.

    Maybe Massa will hire him as consultant once more, it must be more than coincidence that Massa’s best years were with Schumi in his corner.

  27. Irish con says:

    The correct decision. I’ve been doing some reading this morning and some of the great mans stats amaze me. 91 career wins. That’s one more than the 2nd and 3rd most wins combined (senna and Prost). And he has won as many world titles as senna and Prost. I don’t ever think we will see a career like it again. Fernando, Lewis and Seb will do well to even get half close to 7 and 91.

  28. F!NKV says:

    There was one more year left with Ferrari.None the less it was a treat.

  29. Pete says:

    Schumi says he was no longer motivated, despite still being competitive

    you leave out the KEY comment in his statement, though, James

    he basically says he is not interested in merely sitting in an F1 car, but driving FOR WINS, that the fun to drive increases with the competitiveness of the car

    “Am Ende habe ich den Anspruch, nicht nur mitzufahren, sondern um Siege zu kämpfen, und die Lust am Fahren nährt sich bekanntlich auch durch Wettbewerbsfähigkeit”

    in other words, his increasing lack of motivation was a direct result of Mercedes providing him with a dog of a car

    hence the dithering: the lad was waiting for Mercedes to take the next step, getting stuck in traffic in the middle of the grid was not interesting to him

    which clearly rules out a move to Sauber as well

    as for this

    “Many fans that will be disappointed that he has not been taken up by Ferrari or Sauber, but F1 is an unsentimental business and the sport is moving on, like a train, leaving the 43 year old behind on the platform for good.”

    well, Peter Sauber said he would take Schumi in a heart-beat and the lady in charge added that , if a 7 times world champion was on the market, OF COURSE, they would have to think about getting him

    in other words, “this unsentimental business” was NOT moving too fast for a 43 year old Schumi

    he would have had the seat if he had wanted to

    if anything it’s a miracle that Schumacher managed to regain his competitiveness vis-a-vis Rosberg in his third year at the age of 43

    most drivers would have given up or simply tailed off

    he was driving on a par 100%

    and really, could have driven not only for wins but even the title in the RIGHT car

    an interesting side-fact: Schumacher himself said some time ago that everything became far easier at Mercedes when he got a new personal engineer a year or so ago; I have forgotten the details, maybe James can help

    I don’t think he would have wanted to take on the “Lauda” role so quickly after retiring anyway

    and being the face of Mercedes is not for him either yet

    a break followed by inheriting Ross Brawn’s position in a year or two

    alternatively, becoming team boss or co-boss at Sauber in a few years

    you heard it here first

    1. Vinoo says:

      I agree with some of the comments but not all…i just cant seem to understand at what point and the reasons that James seems to have changed his mind on Schumi…

      1. Vinoo says:

        Well..ive been reading you forever James, and i have great respect for your views…and im sure you ve noticed im a bit of a Schumi fan..but not fanatical by any means..i can be rational about it..

        but i do get a sense from your recent articles..that your perception of Micheal has become more of a bumbling old fool who doesnt deserve a place on the grid…

        which as a schumi fan or not…i disagree with…

        ive posted below about my impression of the whole situation..but what do i know..im a fan..im not privy to information..

        maybe im reading it wrong..but thats the impression i get James.

      2. James Allen says:

        Not my feeling.

        He made a bad mistake in Singapore, but I’ve pointed out that he’s raised his game in 2012 and has had the beating of Rosberg lately

  30. Chris Horton says:

    Sad to see him go, he’s a legend and F1 will be a poorer place without him.

    Thanks for everything Michael, it’s been brilliant.

  31. JCA says:

    James, he has a mentoring role with the Merc young driver squad in the DTM, is that just for show or does he have a future there? Maybe a Helmut Marko type role.

    1. db4tim says:

      -I think he will walk away form it all…period….nothing, not even back and on the side line at all

  32. F1Nick says:

    Let’s see what will be the note after 6 remain races!

    I presume he will conduct the business on the high!

    All the best to Schumi !

  33. Darren says:

    absolutely gutted, really wished he went to sauber cus he would of been make more than welcome there

  34. HFEVO2 says:

    As others have said, I think retirement was Michael’s best option.

    In the eyes of many less knowledgeable fans, Michael Schumacher was the undisputed best ever driver in F1. In this respect, his time at Mercedes must have done some damage to the Schumacher legend.

    There is no doubt that Michael was always very fast in a car but his time up against Niko ( who I don’t think is an absolutely top class driver ), has confirmed what a lot of us always thought.

    Many, including myself, regard Michael as one of maybe ten to fifteen great drivers including Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton from the modern era. I think it’s impossible to definitively say more than that about him.

    Michael became the most successful F1 driver in the history of the sport because he benefited from a unique situation which he helped to nurture and that can never be repeated :

    After years in the doldrums, Ferrari assembled one of the best-ever design teams and a management structure that put winning above any consideration of good sportsmanship.
    The team was further backed by a huge budget and fantastic facilities including their own test track which the rules permitted them to use to the full.

    Fiorano alone gave them a substantial advantage over every other team, as did their privileged relationships with the FIA and Bridgestone whose tyres were designed very much with Ferrari in mind.

    Michael was further helped by having clear No 1 status compared with the equal No 1 status given to drivers from the British teams like Williams and McLaren.

    Comparing race wins with drivers from previous eras like Fangio, Jim Clark and Stirling Moss are not valid because Michael competed in far more F1 races in each season so that increased Michael’s opportunities to score wins and accrue an enormous tally of points over his long career.

    Great improvements in safety. led by Sid Watkins, also paid their part here because many potentially great careers tragically ended early. ( Ronnie Petersen for one )

    None of this is designed to detract from Michael’s achievements, which were many, but they need to be appreciated and put into perspective against this background.

    Michael continues to be lucky, he has a strong family, the money and status to have a wonderful life and nothing more to prove.

    I hope he comes to appreciate this, puts racing behind him and has a well deserved, long and happy retirement.

    1. Chris G says:

      Good post

    2. Matt W says:

      I don’t think his performance against Nico proves anything personally. You aren’t comparing like for like given the age difference, but even over the course of this season he has generally out performed Nico which the points total hides due to Schumacher having extraordinary reliability problems.

      1. HFEVO2 says:

        Interesting point about reliability etc. but what I was trying to say was that Niko is not looking likely to be one of the great drivers of F1 and on the few occasions that both cars have been working well, Michael has not blown Niko away as I would have expected.

        You may well be right : The mystery question remains the effects of aging. Just how much have Michael’s skills been denigrated by the inevitable aging process ?

        Next season may just give us a clue :

        The most interesting thing about next season will be how Niko compares to Lewis in the same car.

        As an admirer of Lewis’ speed, I have a sneaking suspicion he will leave Niko floundering in his wake.

        If, on the other hand, Niko compares well with Lewis, it will boost his reputation and confirm that Michael still had it – in spades.

    3. zombie says:

      Please spare us from your “knowledgeable eyes”, and while comparing drivers from the 40s to 2012s, you may as well compare motor bike riders with F1 drivers as the cars and the environment is so different today than what it was 5 decades ago.

      Michael is the only link who joined 4 different generations of F1 drivers together. His seniors ( Prost,Mansell, Senna etc), to his contemporaries ( Hill, Hakkinen, JV, Montoya etc ) to his juniors like Kimi, Alonso, Massa and guys who are half his age like Jaime, Vettel, Perez, Pic etc. To even put Vettel and LH – both of whom are still yet to cover half the years as Schumacher’s stellar career is an insult to logic ! Only at the end of Hamilton’s or Vettel’s career can one try to justify naming them among the greatest ever.

      You talk about “unique” circumstances. The best drivers always end up with best cars . Barring 95,01 to 04, Schumacher never had the best car on the grid. And had he done what Senna or Fangio did by team-hopping in the 90s, and ended up in Newey cars, there would be no championship fights for 10 years!

      If budget alone could take a team forward, Toyota and Jaguar-Ford should’ve been multiple champions by now. The so called “previlaged” relationship with FIA made FIA change qualifying rules, refuelling rules and more importantly tyre rules which were all to scuttle Schumacher’s dominance in the sport.

      You talk about Fangio, Fangio was no doubt one of the greatest, but didn’t he have the best cars too ? The Alfa 159 was class of its field, and the W196 silverarrows was head over heels better than its competitors. He changed 4 teams, thrice by choice, to win his 5 titles. Schumacher could’ve easily done that by joining Williams in 96-98 and Mclaren from 99-onwards. We know how many times Williams and Mclaren made an offer for Schumacher, with the later making him in offer even as late as 2005 !

      Competing in far more races also decreses one’s chance of winning. It is the same way how someone leading by a second in a race wishes the race would end right away instead of 30 laps later. Schumacher’s 21 year career spanned across 4 generations, neither Fangio, nor Moss or Prost or Senna can ever claim that.

      As for him being “lucky”, i think that really in a nutshell highlights your analysis. Nobody gets “lucky” in this world unless it is winning a lottery ticket. Michael Schumacher’s unparalleled talent,work ethics,hunger for success and above all patience made him one of the wealthiest sports personalities of all time, and the greatest driver ever. From Murray Walker,Jenson Button to Damon Hill himself he has been named as arguably the greatest ever, and Sir Moss himself named him the 4th greatest of all time. Enuff said i think !

      1. Monza01 says:

        The point being made very firmly was that you can’t compare drivers of one era to those of another for all the reasons mentioned.

        It’s clear that the very best drivers of each generation make up an elite group of, say, 15 or even 20 top drivers over the 60 years of F1.

        Clearly Michael Schumacher is one of those but it was rightly pointed out that you can’t create a valid league table with one driver at the top.

        You entirely misunderstand the section about the team and budget : The whole point was that everything came together for Michael Schumacher at Ferrari in a way that would be impossible today.

        It wasn’t just budget, it was the combination of everything coming together to make a virtuous circle that created the conditions where one driver was able to dominate the sport for so long.

        A long career competing in so many races would have been impossible for Fangio and Moss : There were simply not enough races each year and statistically there was a very high probability that their careers would have ended in a life changing or fatal accident. Just look at what happened to Moss.

        All other things being equal, statistically, competing in more races does not reduce your chances of winning.

        None of this detracts from Michael Schumacher’s ability. Often just timing makes a difference between a career being supremely successful and just successful.

        An element of luck does come into the equation as well as skill and hard work. By any definition of the term, Michael Schumacher is lucky :

        In his case we are talking about a supremely fit man in his early 40s with immense wealth, a fantastic lifestyle beckoning and a strong family around him.

        Compared with almost anyone I know, that’s lucky !

      2. zombie says:

        The point being made was he is just one of the top 20 drivers of his generation. Since Michael has been around 4 different generations as mentioned in my previous post, the whole premise of HFEV02′s logic is wrong. When you cannot compare drivers across generations, all you use is the statistics. Usain Bolt having better and more scientific fitness training, diet and shoes does not take away that he is better than Bob Hayes or Carl Lewis. Usain Bolt has won more medals and is faster to that line and that nobody can take away from him.

        The “virtous circle” that you talk about was created by him bringing in Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and the computer specialist Zapski at Ferrari. He created a team around him and won their undying loyalty which could be seen when the team was in tears at Suzuka 2006 which prompted Patrick Head to say he cannot think of a single Williams driver who could evoke such loyalty and emotions from his team.

        Statistically competing in more races reduces your chance of winning titles. If there were just 10 races this season,Alonso would have been a champion by now. Lengthy racing seasons give teams and drivers to catchup and surpass.

        If hardwork and talent can be termed as lucky, then sure, Michael Schumacher with 91 wins,69 poles, 7 titles,2 runner-ups, 155 podiums, 77 fastest laps is very lucky indeed. Just the way apple got “lucky” to be the world’s richest company, cutting edge products be damned !

      3. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        Well said.

      4. HFEVO2 says:

        Zombie, you obviously don’t understand what has been written here :

        I said Schumacher was one of the 10-20 best drivers throughout the whole 60 years of F1, not just of his generation.

        You can’t compare drivers in different eras because of the different conditions so it’s impossible to definitely say that any one of the top 20 guys is/was the best of all time.

        On statistics :

        Championships are far less relevant than race wins and podiums : Is a driver any less skillful than another if he loses a Championship by 1 point ?

        Moss is rightly regarded as one of the all time greats but he never won a F1 championship.

        The laws of statistics state that whether you throw a dice once or a hundred times, each and every throw gives you exactly the same chance of throwing a six.

        The same rule applies to race starts/wins :
        winning five races in a row doesn’t increase or decrease the individual statistical chance of winning race six.

      5. zombie says:

        HFEV02, you keep contradicting your own statements. This is what you said in your first post “Many, including myself, regard Michael as one of maybe ten to fifteen great drivers including Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton from the modern era” – and not all time. Besides, if you have to throw in Hamilton and Vettel into all time greats so early in their career, then you may as well name JV,Damon Hill or Jenson Button in there !

        You’re right, you cannot compare drivers across different times in different cars, and hence we go by the statistics. Schumacher’s statistics is not limited to the titles won, but his 91 race wins, 69 poles, 155 podiums, 77 fastest laps puts him head over heels on top of every other driver who ever raced. Nobody gives a rats back that Tiger Woods has better equipment, and supercomputers churning out his drive angles, he has more wins than Casper or Niklaus and that makes him better than them.

        As for statistics, again, this was your original statement and i quote “Comparing race wins with drivers from previous eras like Fangio, Jim Clark and Stirling Moss are not valid because Michael competed in far more F1 races in each season so that increased Michael’s opportunities to score wins and accrue an enormous tally of points over his long career.” and now you conviniently contradict yourself by saying “The same rule applies to race starts/wins :
        winning five races in a row doesn’t increase or decrease the individual statistical chance of winning race six.”

        Michael made the best out of every little opportunity he got. Nobody wins loyalty without merit unless you walk around with a gun.He accomplished something at Ferrari which no other world champion past or present has ever done – i.e. turn a team into a diehard group of loyals who would walk through a brickwall for Michael. Prost and Berger never bothered spending days sleeping at the track to make those Ferraris better – and there were no testing bans back then. Michael did it, and when he finally had a car close enough to the Newey designed ones, he took them to the title fights and finally won in 2000.

      6. Stephen Taylor says:

        What about 02? .The F2001B/2002 chassis won 15 out of the 17 races?

      7. zombie says:

        I think i said 95,01-04, 01-04 would include 01 and 02 i assume ?

    4. Kay says:

      “Michael was further helped by having clear No 1 status compared with the equal No 1 status given to drivers from the British teams like Williams and McLaren.”

      When Hakkinen was still around, I’ve always had the feeling that McLaren also practiced clear No. 1, albeit being more subtle about it.

      1. HFEVO2 says:

        You could well be right : David Coulthard always thought he was regarded as second driver.

        I think this was more down to the strong personal relationship between Mika and Ron Dennis than a definite policy of a No 1 and No 2 as always practiced by Ferrari.

        I don’t think Hakkinen was necessarily provided with a better car.

    5. Bill says:

      Have you even seen any of Schumacher races, prior to 2001? if you had you would not have posted such a nonsensical statement which shows either an extreme ignorance of F1 or such a severe dislike of schumi as to ignore his achievements.
      Do you think he achieved his 7 titles by accident?
      Yes, the 01, 02 and 04 ferraris where a class above the rest. The 94 williams was much faster than the benetton and schumi was banned or disqualified from 4 races that year, so Hill couldn’t even get the job done with 4 more races in a faster car.
      The 97 williams and 98 mclaren were much faster than the ferrari but schumi just lost out on those titles with an inferior car

  35. Owen says:

    Of course it is time to go – the edge and reflexes are no longer quite there, and at this level that margin counts too much. Nevertheless it has been a joy to witness Michael’s “never-say-die” attitude, his cheerfulness and enjoyment, and he showed that winning is not everything – always a great team man – he will be missed ….

  36. RedChimp says:

    I think it’s the right time for Schumi to go and although it is a bit of an ignominious note to end on he can certainly hold his head up high.

    I can’t say I was ever a fan, I admired his drive and talent but ever since he speared into the side of Damon Hill in Australia he was a driver that I’ve (strangely affectionately) loved to hate. His years of Ferrari dominance, while an impressive achievement, also threatened to bore me into indifference over a sport I had grown to love.

    But despite all that he is a legend of the sport whose achievements can guarantee he has his place in the history books. There has also been another side to him that the viewing public have come to see since his return, a more human, humble and approachable side which has certainly gone a long way to my feeling quite sad to see him go. I am surprised to discover that I really would like him to have a win before he leaves.

    Schumi entered the sport just as I started to get really into it as a child. He is the last remaining driver on the grid who ties the sport today to my childhood and so that too leaves me a little sad!

    I wish him all the best!

  37. F1-Insider says:

    He never should have come back, age waits for nobody and, in my opinion there are a raft of faster drivers in F1 now than there was when he was racing.
    For me he won’t be missed at all.

  38. David Goss says:

    James

    I wonder why Schumacher has not taken a test/reserve driver job at any team. He is fast, experienced and good technically, so he seems like an ideal candidate. Would this be too big a step down for him? Or is it just that he would be getting in the way of the young up-and-comers?

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      He’s a seven times world champion, so it wouldn’t really fit.

      Sometimes you have to know when your time is up

      1. Paul says:

        I really believe the issue of his age is over stated though. The problem has been the years he spent out and the subsequent time it took him to get back up to speed. Looking at him now, you cannot say he does not deserve his place in f1.

        A true legend, not just of f1, but of sport. Arguably one of the greatest f1 drivers of all time, and one of the greatest sportsmen ever. He demonstrates to us all the power of dedication and attention to detail. Thankyou Michael for the many years of entertainment!

      2. Paul says:

        Management is not for him! He is a racer! I hope he retires with his family in the Swiss mountains never to be seen again.

    2. Señor Sjon says:

      And when do you test exactly?

  39. For sure says:

    Its kinda sad, but in any sport, quoting from The Dark Knight “you either die hero or you live long enough to see yourself get beaten”.
    Ali went out the similar way, he was getting embarrassed at the tail of his career.
    It really is a low point for him. But given the physical demands it takes, what he did is quiet remarkable.
    I imagine, the average amount of effort it takes during each corner is easily equivalent to 2 push ups, plus neck exercise. 20 corners, 60 laps mean, 2400 push ups. I actually think it takes a lot more than that.
    If you are 43 and able put in that kind of effort, drive nearly as precise as the world best/fittest drivers at their peak, it’s astonishing.
    On the other hand, the reality is that he looked nothing like Schumacher we know.
    I doubt it will damage his legacy tho.
    Because the champions today will fade the same way as every champion in pretty much every sport.

    1. NJ says:

      “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

  40. It will be interesting to find out what the reason for the delay was post the Hamilton announcement (if we ever do find out). Could it be that Massa caused Schumacher’s retirement twice?!?

    Otherwise, great analysis on the come back. A shame it didn’t work out for Michael, but we were lucky to have the opportunity to watch him for a few more years

  41. David H says:

    Always sad when a legend retires. Farewell to Michael For mine the best all round in my 35 years of f1 watching.

    1. Truth or Lies says:

      Same here, first race Austria 1977. Didn’t see Stewart or the other ’60′s legends race, but saw a great many excellent drivers since then over the years, Hunt, Lauda, Jones, Andretti, Senna, Prost etc.

      Was at a cold and wet Donnington on Easter Sunday 1993 for Sennas epic win, but nothing touches the way Michael Schumacher drove at Interlagos in 2006, the image of his pass on Kimi is burned into my memory. I’ve watched it since on tv but to be there 50 metres from the spot, it looked as though the Ferrari went through the wall, it was so tight. An awesome drive from a truly brilliant driver.

      Simply the best.

  42. JHAUS says:

    A very sad day in f1 history. I will miss you Michael. Have been following him for over 20 years & finally got to see him live in Oz this March.We waited around 4hours just to get an autograph along with the other thousands of people.Am very glad I got to see him for his final year. F1 will NEVER be the same for me & I thank him for his historic victories & also for his courageous failures with Mercedes. In my eyes he will always be the GREATEST DRIVER in F1 history. Hope he stays around in some capacity in the F1 world (whatever tha may be).

  43. Cedgy says:

    Sad to see Michael go this way but I just couldn’t see him go back to Ferrari for a year or finishing his career at Sauber.

    James any insights on who will get Perez seat at Sauber?
    Would love to see Algeusuari get a second chance with them. What’s your thoughts?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’d like to see that too. But I fear they may be looking for quite a lot of sponsorship now, with Perez gone.

      If some of the Mexican money stays with Guttierez, maybe that will be one way for them to go, but if it’s all destined for McLaren then…

  44. Simon Lord says:

    “This last paragraph is a nod in the direction of some of his mistakes in his early career, where he crossed the line of what is and is not acceptable in the pursuit of winning in sport.” Alas, his behaviour was not limited to his early career – remember his move on Barrichello in Hungary in 2010? But he has mellowed a little since – perhaps the killer instinct has gone at last.

    1. Matt W says:

      A move which has oddly since been deemed legal after Nico’s similar moves in Bahrain this year.

    2. dc says:

      I don’t understand why there has been such a fuzz about that move. He left one car’s width between himself and the wall – not an inch more, not an inch less. Exactly what you would expect from a great driver – someone like himself, Kimi, Alonso… Obviously you wouldn’t trust 3/4 of the grid to be able to do that including some champions, you could the few mentioned above.

      1. Simon Lord says:

        I suppose my definition of a ‘great driver’ doesn’t include anyone prepared to push others off the track and endanger the lives of innocent people. I’d be very surprised if Alonso, for example, did the same, and he would go down in my estimation because of it.

      2. Bill says:

        Have you even what Senna used to do?
        You sound a lot like Jackie Stewart
        I very much doubt you would feel the same way about Schumi if he were British

      3. Simon Lord says:

        I think there’s something missing from your first sentence but no, I didn’t like what Senna used to do either and think that, to a large extent, the rot set in when he (and others subsequently) was allowed to get away with some pretty dubious behaviour.

        I am flattered to think that I sound like Jackie Stewart, who knows more about grand prix racing than most people and has fought consistently for improved safety standards only to see them result in worse driving standards. Back in the late 1960s I was one of those who decried his safety campaign as robbing us of some great circuits. Today, I look back on the needless deaths of those years with some horror and know I was wrong. While I would never support an over the top OSH-style approach to motor sport, I do believe that the illusion of safety has helped contribute to the poor behaviour of certain drivers. It is worth noting that the many deaths of the 50s, 60s and 70s were not the result of deliberately dangerous driving but mechanical failure, misunderstandings or genuine accidents. Would Schumacher have been able to say the same if his start-line swerves or pushing people off-circuit had had fatal consequences?

        Nationality has no bearing on the matter (I am English by birth, Scots by education and a New Zealander by choice and domicile). If a driver acts in a dangerous fashion towards his fellow drivers, be he English, German, Venezualan, Brazilian, Kiwi or whatever, he needs to be censured. In the old days, he would have been taken quietly to one side by ine of the senior drivers and spoken to firmly. Today, with a global television audience and the commercial considerations, such censure has to be public and from an impartial source. The stewards are at last taking a firm line on dangerous actions and, while they tread a very difficult line between racing accidents and dangerous actions, I think they are doing a better job these days. The Schumacher era may therefore be over in more ways than one.

  45. James McNulty says:

    I think Schumacher should go sportcar racing and try and win the WEC and Le Mans!. Maybe he could lead a Mercedes or even Ferrari factory entry into the WEC?

    That would be so Cool!

    1. Kay says:

      Ferrari are only interested in F1 at the moment. The Le Mans Ferraris are customers, which I think is pretty sad.

      They make cool supercars like the Enzo, FXX, yet they never get to compete on track. Shame.

  46. Matt W says:

    I don’t think the comeback was a bad decision at all. He still generally competed very well against drivers half his age, and only had a podium achieving car on maybe 4 or 5 occassions over the entirety of the last 3 seasons. He was massively improved over the last 12 months and has been outperforming Rosberg this year which the points don’t show as he has had a ridiculous number of car issues.

    Sadly, his crashes against Senna and Vergne have been allowed by an F1 media desperate for a story to hide the fact that the Mercedes car has actually gone backwards over the last three years.

    It is a shame he has decided to call it quits as I maintain he would have been in championship contention for this season at least if he had a half competitive package.

  47. Nigel says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan, but it’s still genuinely a shame to see him go – and so young, too.

    After all, Fangio was just getting to the second of his five championships at the same age.

    1. Kay says:

      Cars were most probably a lot less difficult to drive back in those days…

  48. F1fan4life says:

    Totally disappointed. I’m not a fan of his in fact I loathed him through his early years, but I grew to respect him in his later years. I feel he has conducted himself beautifully inside and outside the car since retirement. I know he made this decision partially but I can’t help but think if Formula showed a little more emotion toward him he’d have stayed. He has kept up and on occasion looked better than Rosberg this year. In all likelihood the person who now gets an opportunity will probably be nowhere near Rosberg’s level, and will likely be just another bland colorless character. In these respects I feel Formula One will be poorer in every way with his leaving.

  49. Oli says:

    Very sad to hear about his retirement again, one of the greatest drivers in the history of F1.

    Mercedes are partly to blame about this for not giving him, and Nico for that fact, with a car cappable of winning races! Wonder what this is doing to Brawn’s reputation aswell?

    My biggest regret is not seeing him race, I was planning on going Silverstone this year but never mad it so I’m gutted i will no get to see him next year.

    Big thank you to Michael for everything you have done in F1 & providing years of entertainment, you will be missed.

  50. Mark says:

    So, James. In light of this news, who do you think will fill the vacant Sauber seat?

    Personally, I’d love to see Heikki in it. He is a very talented driver who deserves a better car than the Caterham.

    However, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Perez brought quite a bit of funding with him from Mexico. With that gone, perhaps Peter Sauber will look for someone with similar backing.

    What that could mean, is that if Bottas does indeed get the nod from Williams (strongly rumoured), and Senna is subsequently shown the door … we could well see Senna land at Sauber, given that he does have substantial financial backing and experience of driving in Formula 1.

    Of course, this is all conjecture right now.

  51. B Grylls says:

    I have doubted Michael’s comeback all the time; it must have been made with the pre-text of Brawn winning in 2009 and thus entering top tier team.

    In hindsight, Michael and Mercedes were nowhere close in 2010 and 2011. They could’ve perhaps been this year, had the car been a bit more reliable and chewing less back wheel tire. But what-if’s apply to all teams.

    Still, I appreciate that Michael has had these three (half-good) years in his F1 comeback. The total domination during his Ferrari years are being put into perspective and I also think his presence as a 7 time WDC has added some flavour to to grid.

    James asksed a very relevant question the other day about the future of F1 where exceptionally good drivers don’t get a chance due to lack of financing and that the grid might consist of good but not great drivers a few years down the read. I totally agree and I believe that we may risk waiting a long time to see such an interesting grid as this year with 6 former WDC’s and fairly equal cars.

    Thanks Michael for also finally growing up an becoming more sportsmanlike. Like it or not, winners are allways role models and it’s important to display a good attitude. And nobody can take that away from him for his comeback.

    BG

    1. Sebee says:

      Yup. Michael should have come back in 2009. Taken Rubens’ spot.

      Schumi would have 8 stars.
      Button would have never been champion.

      Brawn can say he was there for both Schumi retirements though!

      1. Kay says:

        Well Michael DID test for Ferrari in ’09 hoping to fill in for Massa, which unfortunately for him, he broke his neck muscle or something…

        So 2009 wasn’t really possible for Michael.

  52. olivier says:

    His three years at Mercedes sounds like an epilogue to me. It feels like Michael wants us to remember him as a human being. He was very dignified in failure and misfortune. Never blaming others.

  53. glen says:

    If I was Schumacher I would return home to Switzerland, enjoy a lovely cup of coffee in front of a warm and cosy log fire with the wife. Then occasionally venture out and ski.

  54. Neil Jenney says:

    I enjoyed “comeback Schuey” more than version one. I feel like we’ve been robbed of some great sporting moments by him not having a if not a dominant car, then at least one that was competitive enough to be an outside contender for victory at points in the season. I guess I’ll just have to dream about what it would have been like to see the man relaxed, focused, confident and a winner again.

  55. Marc says:

    Sorry to say, but it was a mistake he made to come back after so much success. Not because his results were average or poor (that can only be said with hindsight). But because it’s never good to re-heat a 5 star dish gone cold.

  56. lethalnz says:

    nearly half his life has been dedicated to F1 racing on the track, that in itself is pretty amazing, love him or hate him, you cant take away the achievements and excitment he has given us some of the best racing we could have ever ask for, you will be missed Micheal, thanks for the entertainment, lay back and enjoy yourself, life is too short not to.

  57. madmax says:

    So Merc talk him into making a comeback and give him a slow unreliable car for 3 years. It really is a shame he hadn’t a decent car so could show his talents at an advanced age.

    Monaco pole and his qualifying performances in the wet this year where the stuff of a legend.

  58. Edward Clarke says:

    Well done Schumi – you will be sorely missed. It was hard watching you fight for the lower points finishes at each race but I knew you were enjoying it – being a racer. You are an inspiration to all. Best of luck in the remaining races – it would be truly special if you could take top step on the podium one last time!

  59. Bayan says:

    Sad news. He deserves to be in F1 more than some drivers in F1 right now.

  60. Mojo says:

    I’m so glad that he decided to quit. There are many suitable metrics when it comes to decide who is the “greatest” driver of all time, and the number of championships is certainly the most straightforward, but in my opinion it is not as easy as that. I personally value drivers on their behaviour on track. That’s why neither Senna nor Schu rank anywhere near “great” drivers. They both have a record of doing things on the track that are disrepectful and unfair. Motorsports is a sport, and as that it is not just about counting wins, poles and championships.

  61. NutBallRacer says:

    Would love to have seen him for 2013 at McLaren, and then quit. He needed a competitive car. He should have paid for that drive to finish on a higher note. It would have made interesting comparison with Hamilton — a straight up switch, though year to year changes muddle that idea. Anyway, I was not particularly a fan of Schumacher’s “sportsmanship” at times, but he has set a standard for accomplishment, and probably for getting a team behind him. His departure will leave a hole in the F1 fabric, but it probably is as good a time for it as any. It has to hurt, though, when Montezemelo says Alonso is the best driver Ferrari has ever seen. Memories are short there, evidently.

    1. Phillip says:

      I would have loved that too! MSC in a top-flight car? Yes please.

      Schuey and Hamilton swap seats for the remainder of the season, Perez to take over next year. Then we would have a decent barometer of exactly where MSC is.

  62. James Encore says:

    It’s all a bit sad isn’t it ? The once great champion returns but is a shaddow of his former self. If he had thought he was at his absolute peak in 2006 he wouldn’t have retired then so continuting now would mean driving 8 maybe 10 years past his best.
    When he was at his best – 2002,3,4 – there really was no-one close, Hakkinen had retired, Alonso was yet to become much of a force; when he won his first two championships there was a Vaccuum at the top – the Mansell, Prost and Senna having departed.

    Did he dream of proving that even at 40 he could beat Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel ? If he did he must have woken up with a bump. For a man who won every third race he was in, and was on the podium more than half the time -trying to stay motivated after 3 years without a win must have been a challenge. I guess he hoped for an 8th title or to take his tally of wins past 100, but once that wasn’t going to happen… he didn’t need the money and held all the records that could interest him before the comeback – there’s the most races and oldest driver to do X ones left.

    I can understand him not feeling ready for the pipe and slippers, but ex-drivers make rotten team bosses – that’s one thing he should probably avoid.

  63. Victor says:

    A big fan of Michael’s, I feel to see him go. But I do think it’s time for him to quit. Life goes on.

  64. Nil says:

    As with all good things, his run has also come to an end. Thanks for all the excitement over the years. Lets hope we see Schumi on the grid in some other role in the near future.

    His comeback hasn’t redefined or blemished his legacy for the older generation amongst us who saw him achieve so much earlier. But this will leave a very different impression on newer fans who hadn’t seen his earlier drives and will incorrectly attribute a large part of his success to superior racecraft than his supreme skill.

  65. Elie says:

    Certainly not sad to see him go. He had his time before 2006 & the way I see it is some other great talent missed a chance to shine. When Hamilton starts winning races early next year someone else needs to go in that team also…

  66. TitanRacer says:

    I got up this morning and started scouring thru my list of web pages to see the latest news of F1 and other series of interest…
    I have been blown away by the amazing maturity and deep thinking comments by our hero drivers and our pundits too!!
    this is one great morning – maybe the best ever!!!

  67. Marcelo Leal says:

    Sorry, but for me the truth is totally different.
    As IMHO he just won what he won because of lack of competitors, he did think he was good enough. So good that he could come back any time and win again.
    The reality Michael, is way different… Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Perez, Hulk, Di Resta, Kimi, Button, Maldonado…
    Senna was the best of all, and we had Piquet, Mansel and Prost. Good years! But Formula 1 was never in the skill level (with many excellent drivers as today).
    Michael was smashed by Rosberg! And Rosberg is not even close to the list of names I listed above. MS is racing again for three years now, and was just this year he is trying to compete with Rosberg. And Rosberg already have a win.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Lack of competition? Villenueve was there throughout Schumacher’s reign. Hakkinen was there in 2000; Schumacher outraced him.

      True, 2001 and 2002 perhaps had less competition (although his team mate Barrichello was no slouch); Schumacher won these seasons too. 2003 though, was a closely fought battle between MS and KR; a championship which Schumacher earned without question.

      In 2004 (the year of Schumacher’s and Ferarri’s greatest domination) Raikenen was still there and Alonso was starting to really do well with Renault.

      2005 and 2006 MS raced competetivley but just lost out to Fernando Alonso.

      It takes a great driver in a great car to win in Formula 1. An average driver in a great car will still overall achieve average results. A great driver in an average car will also overall achieve average results.

      Just because Ferarri built some of the best Formula 1 cars ever during Schumacher’s reign does not mean the driver didn’t earn his victories. A decent driver, Barrichello, driving the same car was 2nd in the championship only twice (2002 and 2004) during the period of Schumacher’s 5 wins. If the car was supposedly doing all the work, RB would have at least been 2nd every year.

      It is very poor form to attempt to diminish someone’s achievments.

      1. Marcelo Leal says:

        Sorry Wade, but I always had the same opinion about F1 on MS’ era, and was a MS decision to give the opportunity to prove that. ;-)

        IMO the reason he returned to F1 was this:
        – He “knows” the 7 titles (or at least 5) he has, do not have much credit. If so, he would be considered the master of all time, and he does not. He was trying to prove himself.

        Please, don’t get me wrong…

        7 times world champion battling with a team-mate that has just “one” win on F1, and please say me: how many times he outpaced Rosberg?

        C’mon, he is the more experienced driver in F1 today, 7 titles… he had the obligation to stay ahead of Rosberg always! I’m not saying championships, races.. but at least he did need to be competitive against his team mate. He was complaining about the car, the tyres.. he is the guy that needs to have the ability to handle a bad car, adjust the driving style to the new tyres, etc. That’s why Ross hired him…
        Next year, after a few poles from Hamilton on this same car, we can discuss again.

        Look:
        He has 302 Grand Prix Entries, and 68 Pole Positions.
        Senna had 162 Grand Prix Entries, and 65 Pole Positions
        http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drivers/hall_of_fame/

      2. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        Your comments don’t make sense. Using your logic Rossi wouldn’t be the best MotoGp rider and Seb wouldn’t be the best rally driver.

        You forget that Senna at McLaren had the best car in the field (won 15/16 races).

        Michael had plenty of his own “Donnington” moments. The fact that he made it look easy takes away from his competition at the time. Alsonso, Kimi, Mika, Damon, Montoya, etc.

      3. Wade Parmino says:

        Win percentages don’t matter. These types of statistics do not really reflect a drivers greatness. Raw, quantifiable statistics are what matter.

        For example, Jacques Villenueve could have left F1 after his first win which was his second race. This would have given him an F1 win percentage of 50%, even better than Fangio. Such an occurance would be laughable and no one would respect the statistic as meaning he is the best F1 driver ever. Nor should they.

        Many believe Senna to be the best ever, although his win percentage is less than Fangio. So how can Schumacher’s greatness be lessened just because his win percentage is not as high as others? Had Senna not died, his win/pole percentage too would more than likely have been reduced.

        Win percentages mean nothing. Outright results are what count.

  68. coronwen says:

    Doubly, doubly sad. Schumi retiring and just a few days ago Sebastien Loeb said he was going into “partial” retirement next year. 7 championships for Schu and 8 for Loeb (probably 9 after Rally France this weekend). Really does seem like the end of an era. And where are the truly greats to replace them? I haven’t spotted them yet.

    I agree with IP’s comment (11) “… nice if the championship went down to the last race with, say, Hamilton needing to win and Alonso to DNF and then schuey spoils the party by winning.” He’d be beaming on the podium … probably conduct the anthem too.

  69. Roy says:

    It has been refreshing to see Michael racing in F1 again for past 3 years.
    Some of that old arrogance is gone and he has gained a lot of respect during his come back time.
    I think most would have liked him to win, and he still has a chance in the remaining races.

    As Brits living the America, we will be at Austin rooting for him and Jenson Button of course.

    As for Hamilton, maybe he will grow up going to a new team and then I will be able to respect him and his obvious great driving ability.

  70. Vinoo says:

    My two cents…

    Schumi at 43 was certainly as good as Rosberg..no one can doubt that..and he was getting better…I expect Rosberg to get annihilated by Hamilton though..

    Brawn made the sensible call with Schumi on the fence about carrying on..Merc needs 3-5 years of serious commitment from a top driver…and Schumi would be 46-48 by then..not feasible at all…Hamilton was available ..sign him..done..

    I believe that Rosberg isn’t that top driver…and i think Mercedes deep down know that as well…

    If hamilton decided to stay with Mclaren…Schumi would have been extended for a year or more…cause Mercedes wouldnt have had a choice…or if Schumi decided to stay for longer than 1 year..he could have stayed period.. regardless of what happened with any of the drivers on the grid…

    So i dont think he was left on the platform blah blah…he certainly wasn’t as good as he was in his first career…but he would have and has competed with this generation of top drivers..if the motivation and desire were there for more success..Schumi would just have built up his competitiveness(as seen with his progression through the 3 years of his second comeback)…

    the saga of mercdes-schumi-hamilton was simple in the end

    Mercedes need more time to win..they need a top driver to win…Hamilton can commit for a number of years..he isnt sittin on the fence cause he has won so much(thats for sure!)…
    Schumi didnt want to commit for long term certainly ..and if Merc didnt get Hamilton..i presume Schumi would have found a way to find his motivation again….

    A true champion…and a true team player…

    All the best to Hamilton..he is fast…but i hope he learns some of these true champion traits from the legend.

  71. Don Farrell says:

    No surprise with this announcement – Bernie let it slip a few weeks ago.

    I have huge respect for Schmacher but his comeback wasn’t a good idea.

    Time for Schmacher to do what some of the other greats have done over the years…. get into F1 management.

  72. Sebastiaan Hekman says:

    Sad feelings about Schumacher leaving F1 again, but it was inevitable, if not now then next year.
    It is great to read all the comments, in which most, if not all, can find praise for the man. I think in this he is also unique: generating so much response.

    I saw his first race in Spa, but will unfortunately not be able to see his last one in Brasil. I became only a Schumi fan when he moved to Ferrari, as there he had to face challenges and work hard to make that bloody car work and last Ok, with a great team around him, but the driver has to keep himself motivated, something he, Michael, was and is great at. I like also his loyalty to the team: no complaining to the outer world about all the things that go wrong in the team. And his, presumed, capacity to help developing the car is a talent I find really amazing. Just sinking your teeth in it and get on with it. Unfortunately we don’t see much of that, Ross Brawn has talked about it as did Jean Todt in the past but we cannot witness that. Well, one day we might get details when secrecy no longer matters.

    Thanks Michael!

  73. Michael says:

    From a neutral point of view, this is disappointing – particularly considering that Schumacher was on an upward trend prior to the Singapore incident.

    The Mercedes car hasn’t been competitive in any of the last three years. Realistically, his only chance to start winning was this year, and that was hampered massively by reliability issues.

    In 2010, he was 75% of his old self
    In 2011, 80%
    In 2012, 85%;

    The trend was obvious and had it continued, we could very well have been talking about the second coming of Schumi. Fine margins.

  74. FerrariFan says:

    Its sad. Though I didnt like Schumi in his initial years, its sad that he is pushed out of the sport like this. He has been better than Rosberg this year and I would have liked to see him and Hamilton in Mercedes rather than Rosberg.

  75. MJ says:

    what a shame. Just as he found his groove. He could have done with one more reliable year. F1 just got a whole lot more boring!! What with the restrictions on development, standard ecus, etc etc, the sport is losing it’s appeal fast. We desperately need more innovation and less restriction in F1. Losing Schumi has probably just lost a big draw for many viewers.

    I must admit, the last of the old school going will shorten my attention span for f1 considerably. Thank god for the likes of Webber and Button still around.

    Merc have failed Rosberg and Schumi badly. Lewis really has his work cut out for him. Merc are second rate compared to Mclaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.

  76. Val from montreal says:

    First mistake Schumacher made was confidently stating he was going to be fighting for the world championship on that famous december 23rd day in 2009 ….second mistake he made was believing in Ross Brawn ….. 3rd mistake Schumacher made was signing for Mercedes for 3 years … And my mistake as his fan was giving Mercedes the benefit of the doupt …. He wasted 3 great years at Mercedes ….. Im glad that I did not waste my hard earned $$$ on any Mercedes f1 Petronas merchandise these last 3 years … Nothing , not even a t-shirt !! At least Schumacher redeemed himself this season because he has been the better Mercedes driver of the two …. Brazil 2012 is the last F1 race for me as a viewer …. And the ” edge of greatness ” book that I got will be buried in my backyard , the only thing im keeping are the pictures ..

  77. zombie says:

    James, if you talk to Michael this weekend, please tell him he’ll be thoroughly missed on this side of the pond ( US of A ). And a pub full of people in Baltimore,Maryland will be cheering him on every lap when he races in TX.

    Thank him for giving many F1 fans like me a reason to watch races for a good part of 2 decades now.

  78. Rob says:

    I am sad on the one hand because he had proved that he was still good enough. He has really shown Nico up this year even if the championship points don’t reflect it. However, he wasn’t as good as he was so perhaps it is for the best. His comeback wasn’t a failure, he’s actually done better than someone his age after three years out should have done. The initial aims were however too high and Mercedes failed to deliver a decent car.

    I personally don’t think his legacy is tarnished, the numbers are still there and being able to still set pole at Monaco (whether it counted or not) is impressive. One thing he has done is shown his humanity and his personality. A lot are saying that they previously didn’t like him but now they do. He was always a champion but considered by many to be a robot with little personality. He has improved his image in my view over the last two years, and that is no waste. Good luck Michael, whatever you choose to do, F1 is poorer without you.

  79. Wade Parmino says:

    I know it’s wishful thinking, but I really do hope circumstances arise over the next six races where Schumacher finds himself in a position to get that one single win of his comeback.

    It’s sad to see a legend retire with his most recent results being very mediocre. It could be worse though, at least his legendary legacy won’t be affected as Lance Armstrong’s is.

    Michael Schumacher is still a 7 time world champion. Although possible, I don’t think anyone will ever match him on wins.

    I’d love to see a new team pop up in the future, perhaps by the name of “Schumacher F1″. He could get Vettel as one of his drivers.

  80. Slaven Niksic says:

    Goodbye Michael. Ferrari fans will never forget you, even though you became more German than we would like… I’ll never forget your three stopper charge to victory in Hungary 1998. And yeah, I saw you flashing by at Monza this year

  81. Robert Gunning says:

    I am so glad that I finally got to see Schumacher drive at Silverstone this year. Even though I never liked him at his peak, I always admired his talent, and he definitely mellowed in his second career. It is a shame he is not going to Ferrari; I am sure Alonso mind him as a team mate, and he would certainly push him harder than Massa is at the moment. However, without the option of a competitive drive, it is correct for Schumacher to call time on his career. But if motorsports fans were asked the same question of Sebastien Loeb’s decision to go into semi-retirement, I am sure the response would be definitely not.

  82. RA109 says:

    I agree with the others who say they much prefer Schumacher version 2.0. I wish he would have stayed and tried Sauber. I too would have gotten burnt out with a car that hasn’t improved in 3 years; but whereas the Mercedes just goes backwards in the race, the Sauber generally goes forwards. A race winner? Who’s to say. But surely a more fun car capable of the on-track battles that Michael loves – gaining a position, not losing one.

    As far as Sauber’s need for sponsorship, aren’t there dozens of sponsors constantly swarming Schumacher like flies? Seems to me he could have brought them as much money as a “pay driver” in that regard.

    Funny how badly I wanted Barrichello out the door to make room for the younger guys, yet I’m not ready to see the end of Schumacher, who I once despised.

    So even without wins, he won me over, as well as many new fans I’m sure. In that sense, his comeback may not be the disgrace and disappointment some may think.

  83. Schumacher was never going to achieve anything like his previous results, because of all the rule changes regarding tightening up driving standards,if they had been in force during his heydey he would have had many more penalties, driving into Hill, trying to drive Villenue off the road, etc etc he even tried it on with Barrichelo on his return, not worried if he shoved him into a concrete pit wall !! and then of course all the wins gifted to him.

  84. CJD says:

    he will defently carry on racing … like his motorbike races in IDM

    maybe le mans? but there’s no mercedes there ..

    greetings

  85. amir says:

    Hey James, have you read Jackie stewards apparent comments regarding Michael’s second retirement? I find it strikes of bitterness, and a tinge of jealousy perhaps to denounce him like that – comparing stats even like a smug schoolboy.

    Though Jackie has done a lot of championing in safety for F1 over the years,and though I used to despise MS’s dominance at the start of the decade, its strikes me as a little untimely and untactful.

    Ive warmed to MS a lot more in recent years than in his first career stint, and I would dearly love to see him win one of the last six races to see him off.
    No fool like an old fool as they say ( in JYS)

    1. MJ says:

      Jackie Stewart may well have multiple championships, but he is a [mod] who should often keep his silly opinions to himself. [mod] He says of Michaels crashes recently, that champs like Prost,Senna,Mansel wouldn’t make frequent contact like that. Stewart has conveniently forgotten about the interview, during which Senna mauled him and spat him out, after Stewart accused Senna of being involved in twice the number of shunts as other drivers. I’m sorry, as much I respect Stewart for his titles, the man is just comes across and a big headed old fool with his coments. What Schumi has achieved at his age is incredible. Lets not forget that he has been mixing it up in the top 8-10 for the last 2 seasons with 5 other world champs almost half of his age. Respect to Michael for having a go. His image is not damaged in my opinion, especially wit his pace this year. How many 43 years old would be capable of taking pole at Monaco? Lets give the man credit where it is due. I can’t wait to hear what one sided negative nonsense Brundle and Coulthard come out with this weekend, or perhaps they will give Michael credit where it is due!

      1. Simon Lord says:

        ‘Senna mauled him and spat him out’? That wasn’t my impression of that interview – from where I sat, Senna showed complete incomprehension of the fact that anyone could have the temerity to criticise his actions and offered no defence of the statistics that Jackie Stewart offered. When I watched the Senna movie in a large public theatre, there were numerous cheers from those who saw Senna being called on his actions.

    2. zombie says:

      Stewart has always been anti current champions and bitter about Ferrari for as long as i can remember. He had things to say about Prost when Prost joined Ferrari, he had stuff to say about Senna and once he became a team owner, he never let go an opportunity to criticize Ferrari and Schumacher. Heck ! Stewart even had problem with James Hunt’s clothes!

  86. renato nysan says:

    I miss the “too late”-button at the voting.

    :-I

  87. PM says:

    I wonder what Kimi will be doing during the presentation for Schumi’s retirement the second time around…

    1. Bill says:

      Maybe he’ll be taking a whizz this time

  88. franklin says:

    Hope in this last 6 races Schumi can make a podium but looks hard in that W03 piece of crap

  89. Thompson says:

    Finally, thought he’d never leave……

    Sorry but no, Schumachers legacy is too tainted for me to find any kind words. When others have fought tooth and nail with team mates in what was and as always been a dangerous sport he courted No.1 status so team mates were risking their lives for nothing. (now Alonso seems to be courting this too)…its cowardly.

    And robs all his achievments of any weight.

    I recall Adalaide…. I stayed up all night to watch the season climax between him and Hill. I remember it like yesterday.

    So the comeback flopped and the realisation that father time will kick you in the nuts regardless of who you are…… if F1 needed a villan he played is part well. But I won’t miss Schumacher.

    Actually writing this post made me realise I do understand those Hamilton haters…wow.

  90. Kitkat says:

    For some reason I’m more sad on this retirement than the previous one. I know I’m not watching Schumacher at his best any more but still …

  91. Carlos Marques says:

    This just doesn’t feel right.

    Is this how it’s going to end? This reminds me of Zinedine Zidane and how he left the pitch for the final time with his head down…after so many wonderful things he did for the game…

  92. Mauro Fittibaldi says:

    It is funny how everything seems to be turned around since his comeback. In the past, everything he touched, turned into gold.

    But was it real gold anyway? A few illustrations:
    Adelaide, 1994. Schumacher goes off, Hill pays the price.

    In 1996 he had a popular win in Monza. The truth is that he clipped the tyre barrier just like many others, but got away with that.
    If Alesi had done the same…

    Monaco, 1997. Everybody remembers this as a dominant, legendary victory. Actually he lost concentration there too, but luckily there was enough space at SteDevote…

    Suzuka, 2003. Makes a really half-hearted overtaking attempt on Sato, therefore switching the title race out of his control. But who remembers that? For most of the audience, the number of titles that turned on was more important than how it was achieved.

    The story of Schumacher shows really well how much hype there is in F1.

    Today, when he misses his braking point, he now bangs it into other cars. When he stalls his car, he is unsure what to do and suddenly looks like an amateur, not like the most experienced driver in the grid.
    When the car is rubbish, it more or less stays like that, year after year. At best, only his teammate benefits from improvements.
    How come? It used to be Michael who made minced meat out of his teammates. It cant be that it was not Schueys brilliance, but engineers that made the prancing horse fast again, right?

    I don’t think Michael had lost something when he came back. He was just as good as he used to be, but that’s where the problem lies. He was never that good as statistics indicated.

    Sad to see him stopping. I really hope to see him doing endurance racing some day (again). Preferably, sharing the car with Hakkinen.

  93. madmax says:

    James, with Schumacher’s impressive form against Rosberg this year and Ferrari looking for a filler before Vettel perhaps in 2014. Why where they so set against giving Schumacher a chance for 2013??

    1. Kay says:

      Most viewers tend to see only from a fan’s perspective.

      Ferrari is still a company afterall, and from Ferrari’s perspective, they’d want someone for the long run, not just stop and go. It doesn’t help with car development, the next guy after Michael will have to get used to the team again and vice versa, then the whole thing would make the team members feel “he’s going to go in less than a year anyway, so why bother fitting things around him?”

  94. Rich says:

    I voted “no” in your poll James because he should have retired some years ago! Michael’s comeback has been sad. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for his proper fans. You can’t achieve what he did in F1 and expect to get away with anything less on a comeback and not be called out on it. It seemed like a lose-lose situation at the time and so it has proved to be. A lot of good Grand Prix drivers while away their dotage in sportscars or touring cars, where they used to be able to get away with being a bit slow and over-the-hill, I suppose it is only logical that one of the greatest of them all should do this, actually in F1 for a mid-grid team.

    Most Schumacher advocates point to his stats and averages as his claim to greatness, but the last few years have really hurt that.

    It seems Nikki Lauda has beaten Michael to the punch and sealed the ‘Old Driver Swanning Around In The Background Lining His Pockets, Stoking His Ego And Generally Causing Trouble’ role at Mercedes by turning Hamilton’s head, so no roo fpr Schumi there. Why would he want to do it anyway? He didn’t enjoy it much at Ferrari.

    Lewis is useless at testing right? He’d probably go the wrong way with setup, then tweet the resuls. Eddie Irvine slates Schumi’s testing skills in your book does he not James?

    1. Bill says:

      Hilarious.
      I hope merc doesn’t win anything for the next few years. Sreves them right for dumping schumi

  95. Nick Hipkin says:

    James,

    I had an idea and thought you’re the only person who may be able to pass it on, as Seb likes to change his helmets regularly maybe he could wear a Schumacher tribute in Brazil? A nice bright red top and some pictures on the back, that would be right up his street wouldnt it?

  96. Dee Cesaris says:

    It is funny how everything seems to be turned around since his comeback. In the past, everything he touched, turned into gold.

    But was it real gold anyway? A few illustrations:
    Adelaide, 1994. Schumacher goes off, Hill pays the price.

    In 1996 he had a popular win in Monza. The truth is that he clipped the tyre barrier just like many others, but got away with that.
    If Alesi had done the same…

    Monaco, 1997. Everybody remembers this as a dominant, legendary victory. Actually he lost concentration there too, but luckily there was enough space at SteDevote…

    Suzuka, 2003. Makes a really half-hearted overtaking attempt on Sato, therefore switching the title race out of his control. But who remembers that? For most of the audience, the number of titles that turned on was more important than how it was achieved.

    The story of Schumacher shows really well how much hype there is in F1.

    Today, when he misses his braking point, he now bangs it into other cars. When he stalls his car, he is unsure what to do and suddenly looks like an amateur, not like the most experienced driver in the grid.
    When the car is rubbish, it more or less stays like that, year after year. At best, only his teammate benefits from improvements.
    How come? It used to be Michael who made minced meat out of his teammates. It cant be that it was not Schueys brilliance, but engineers that made the prancing horse fast again, right?

    I don’t think Michael had lost something when he came back. He was just as good as he used to be, but that’s where the problem lies. He was never that good as statistics indicated.

    Sad to see him stopping. I really hope to see him doing endurance racing some day (again). And preferably, share the car with Hakkinen:)

    1. zombie says:

      As they say “if my aunt had testicles, she’d be my uncle”. So while wondering why Schumacher’s car didn’t break after clipping a tyre wall, you might as well wonder why the 1994 championship went to the last race despite Schumacher being banned for 4 races for no fault of his, and yet was in a position to take the tile from Hill.
      In 1996 he won 3 races – more than what messrs Alesi and Berger had managed in 3 years. 1997, he took a half-cooked car to the wire. In 1998, he would’ve won had Ferrari not goofed up by being late to cool his car down with ice on pits. Despite starting last, he had fought till 4th when his Goodyears gave up. In 1999, he broke his leg, and the way he toyed with Mika in Sepang later that year made Irivine say “the guy is depressing. He is not just the best no.1 in the world, but also the best no.2!”. In 2005, FIA successfully scuttled his dominance by arranging rules that favored Michelin cars. In 2006, Ferrari where nowhere until Canada, and his engine gave up when he was leading the title battle in Suzuka, and in Brazil he showed why he was still the best.

      As i said..if my aunt had balls she’d be..

  97. Here is my unique perspective of MSC’s lasting legacy for us all.

    I hope you enjoy!

    http://supermarketpeople.co.uk/archives/1899

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