Schumacher: ‘motivation intact’ despite Mercedes exit

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Michael Schumacher says he remains motivated for the final races of the year despite knowing he will lose his place at Mercedes to Lewis Hamilton.

“My motivation is completely intact after the news last week,” said Schumacher, “especially because Suzuka is one of the season’s highlights for me.”

Schumacher has a ten-place grid penalty for this race following his collision with Jean-Eric Vergne in Singapore.

“It would also be nice to achieve a sporting highlight this weekend, although my chances are of course very limited because of my grid penalty,” he added. “But I’ve always approached these things as a challenge.”

Team mate Nico Rosberg hopes the upgrades the team tested prior to the Singapore weekend will pay off at Suzuka:

“The last race in Singapore was my best result for a little while and Ihope this is the start of an upward trend for me and the team,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting to Japan this week and getting on with the work to get the most out of our new aerodynamic package and upgrades.”

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

    Browse all 2012 Japanese Grand Prix articles

    Image © Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    77 comments on “Schumacher: ‘motivation intact’ despite Mercedes exit”

    1. Not that I think theres any real chance of it, but wouldn’t it be nice to see Schumi storm from 20th to the podium this weekend, showing how Merecedes deciding for him frees him up and makes him give everything for the last couple of races :-)

      Personally I am afraid he will fail make it to Q3, have a good start, then hit someone during the first lap and retire with a gearbox issue or something though.

      1. Let it rain!

      2. hit someone…

        He will hit someone? Seriously? That’s a bit harsh tbh.

        1. Why do you, honestly think, he’d hit someone?

          After 14 rounds this season, he’s only made 3 mistakes – Spain, Hungary and Singapore. Other than that, he’s been faultless. By far Michael’s best season since his comeback.

          1. That this is his best season, with only 3 blunders to date, says it all though. Doesn’t it?

    2. Come on Michael! Do another Monaco :)

      1. I would pay to see that :P

        1. Mercedes pays 400.000$/race to see that but they usually… don’t

          1. Perhaps they should build a good car then.

            1. Ouch… Squirm squirm…
              So painful, so true…

    3. And if somebody still thinks that he is going to retire.. Think again.

      1. Ironically, that was just the kind of attitude that his great ‘friend’ Rubens had towards the end of his F1 career. Personally, I would love to see Schumi in a Sauber next season but I also think he should attempt to bow out with at least some dignity this time around. Unfortunately getting pushed out of his seat instead of leaving hasn’t helped in this regard.. he waited too long and now he’s ending his career like Rubens – surely something he now, salary aside, regrets.

        1. Incomparable

        2. I read yesterday it was – until the beginning of Summer – Schumacher decision, only and unilateral, to renew his contract. He might not have done it because of course Mercedes might not have the car (even for next year) to give him good chances for victories.
          Besides, he had way too many reliability problems in the first races, which probably brought more questions than answers to him.

        3. You are comparing Schumacher with RB?…. errrr….

          1. No, He is comparing Schumacher’s situation to RB’s.

            1. No, it’s incomparable. RB tried so hard to find a drive elsewhere. MSC don’t need to do that. Mid-fields are happy to have him.

    4. If he approaches penalties as a challenge, obviously he loves a challenge! :P

    5. Bild is running a story today which in part explains the Schumacher silence. Its been surprising there has been no offer of a management role from Mercedes – Brawn and Schumacher have worked closely for over a decade.

      Apparently Niki Lauda has been parachuted as a direct appointment of the Dailmer Benz board as ‘Chairman’ of the F1 team. You might think this is just an honarary position like ‘Ambassador’ but Lauda has other ideas saying, “I have to make sure that we spend money a lot more effectively to improve competitiveness. I was in the factory in Brackley over the few last days and have already seen things that we need to change. “

      Bet that’ll go down like a lead balloon.

      1. Lauda’s appointment was announced last week – see the last paragraph here:

        Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013 after McLaren exit

        1. Agreed, and “non-exec chairman” sounds a little fluffy and very collegiate.

          But today is the first time the German publications are suggesting the following, “Haug and Brawn must tremble”, further comment on proflogate waste by Haug, Brawn and Frey that Lauda will sort out. Apparently Lauda believes Mercedes have the sate of the art facilities and need to start using them more effectively. He is also deemed as saying, unless Hamilton gets a competative car next year – heads will roll.

          Further, Lauda is being all the credit – “2 badges in his cap” presumably it doesn’t translate well – for finally sorting out Concorde and siogning Lewis.

          This kind of talk may go down like a lead balloon, and Lauda is not known for his tact.

          1. going in like a bull in a china shop will just fail.

            its sometimes hard to take Lauda seriously at the best of times. If he said these things behind close doors then fine but to say them in the press isnt very bright in my opinion. Too much BS from Lauda(we did so well at jag) brawn will go else where.

          2. You’re quite hung up on the whole lead balloon thing. You must have missed that Mythbusters episode where a lead balloon does fly.

      2. In fact a litereal translation some of what Niki Lauda says is in the above linked source is:-

        “I have to make sure that we spend a lot less money without losing competitivness. I was in the factory in Brackley over the last few days and have seen things that we need to change.”

        And this from a man who was sacked by Jaguar for “lacking technical knowledge”.

        Wonder if Lewis knew all this when he signed?

    6. SchumacherF1Team
      2nd October 2012, 11:29

      The time’s ripe for Schumacher F1 Team to be born.

      Schum has loads of personal money, hopefully he still has them. But, he wouldnt need them. The HRT team is better off being branded as Schumacher F1 team in terms of getting sponsorship money, and schumacher still being a huge marketing brand, should be able to influence a few more investors – specially the big German and American, even some Asian Conglomerates – to the team. And he could not only have his own team, but also, at the very least be able to have his own sauber/forceindia in 2 yrs time, and if more money pours in and along comes a certain Newey, then a top-3 car in 5 years time.

      Schumy, are you reading this? you better be!

      1. Newey will retire within 5 years I believe and Schumacher has stated during his first retirement that he has no interest in team management. Obvioulsy he is free to change his mind but he strikes me as a guy that knows what he wants from life somehow.

        1. schumacherF1Team
          2nd October 2012, 17:55

          Newey will retire within 5 years I believe

          Newey wanted to retire from Mclaren way back when there used to be two contiguous zeros in an year’s digit! But then if he really WILL is a different thing altogether, whaddayasay!

          and Schumacher has stated during his first retirement that he has no interest in team management

          he need not…he just needs to lend his permission for the team’s name…that way he has a car to race! But then again, he had also said that he was going to ‘retire’!! *wink*

          1. Newey took a “sabbatical”, which probably was more likely forced by a contract clause.

      2. Prost tried. And failed.

        1. Mclaren tried… and that went pretty well…

          1. Very different era though.

            1. schumacherF1Team
              2nd October 2012, 17:57

              Exactly! Mclaren was a different era to Prost which is again a different era to the modern Shucmaher era!

      3. Why not just do a joint venture with Peter and call it “Schauber” – save some start up time.

        1. “Saumacher” sounds better !

          1. @fer-no65 Pig maker? The German-speaking market might find it… interesting :)

      4. Team Schumacher doesn’t sound too bad. What sort of sponsors would come along though?

        1. schumacherF1Team
          2nd October 2012, 18:05

          Most schumacher fans are now in the working-and-earning department as against the many studying-and-yet-to-work category supporting the younger drivers.

          Imagine the sentimental potential that can be exploited off the back of these fans, many of who have worshiped schumy, ensuring a fair amount of tv coverage of the car during race, not to mention the innumerable ‘exhibitions’ and stuff. All this means an A-grade advertisement exposure for a B-Grade car at the cost for a C-Grade Cost!

          im thinking Philips(not samsung), apple(not google), bmw(back in business again!)…rumours are PUMA came in on the schumy b’r’andwagon!

      5. I don’t want him anywhere near HRT. I want HRT to make it (or not make it) on their own, on their own merit. Buying teams out is so boring. Besides, they’ve worked damn hard to where they’ve got to so someone just proposing to step in and run the show for them would be heart-breaking to see.

        1. schumacherF1Team
          3rd October 2012, 0:42

          They probably will never make it, without money, or without a highly competitive cap on f1 spending. The latter will never happen till Frank Williams takes over as F1 chief, and the former comes mostly from sponsorship.

          And where will HRT get the kind of sponsorship that Schumacher can?? He need not manage the team – although given his nature i doubt he can resist micromanaging things – just the name will do!

      6. Yeah because former F1 champions starting a team has been such a great success in the last few decades.

    7. I believe Michael has had plenty of time in F1. He won’t win another driver’s championship, in my view. But he’s already got SEVEN of them already, so that’s not really all that tragic.

      Time to step aside at let the newer generation have their time, methinks.

      1. Screw the newer generation. Are any of them going to have a shot at making it 8 titles? Probably not. You only get one life, and if he wants to hang on and is good enough to do so then he should. He’s under no obligation to help out the newbies. He did that once before for Massa.

        I wonder do you say this to older factory workers too? “Say Joe, you’ve had a good run, been employee of the year 7 times and all and I know you really enjoy your job, see streamlining the assembly line as your life’s work and so forth, but you’ve been with us for a while, and you’re 42 now and you know there’s 24% youth unemployment… So, what do you say? Do you want to retire and give someone else a go?”

        1. @dvc Screw the newer generation? That new generation is more likely to win titles than Schumi. And if Schumi’s continued presence in the sport means denying a future Button/Alonso type, then by all means, he should go.

          I’d rather he go soon, with his dignity intact, than see him march slowly but surely to the back. More than any denial of future talent, that would be tragic.

          1. , with his dignity intact,

            Right, and you care about his dignity? Please.

            ….than see him march slowly but surely to the back.

            But he is more or less already at the back.. look at the championship standings. It really doesn’t reflect his abilities this season. So to go now means accept failure. It can be seen like that. Depends how one looks at it.

            On the end of the day, we all know he still has what it takes. But, a fan or not, decision will be his own to make.

            1. I don’t think we all know he still has what it takes. I think if anything has been proved by his last 3 seasons it is that without all the advantages he had at Ferrari that saw him incredibly in tune with his top car, he is prone to being outperformed by his teammate for the most part, and prone to making costly mistakes. Certainly when he has outshone his teammate it hasn’t been by enough to call it domination, and even though MS has had more reliability issues he has also cost himself this season in 4 races, two of which he took himself and someone else out, and two of which he starts with a penalty from the race before.

              I think it is time for MS to go because he doesn’t have enough time left to gel with another new team and get back to having the best car on the grid, which is what he has proved he needs to win. And to be fair, what almost all WDC’s have needed to win…the WCC winning car. That and in his case a subservient teammate that is not there to challenge him, not even psychologically.

          2. schumacherF1Team
            2nd October 2012, 18:22

            …Most importantly, he SHOULD NOT take up a Sauber offer. That is, at least so far, no place he can win a WC, and all he’ll do is stifle the careers of many talented but non-pay drivers like Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, who have proved that they can match his kind of talent!

            So, it’s either a Shuf1team or a ShuLace(tie it and walk out)!

          3. You equate Button with Alonso?

            1. @maksutov Indeed I do. Though watching him dominate as a child got boring, it never escaped me how much he loved the sport. The greatest thing he could do now, is ensure its future. Right now, he’s performing like Damon Hill did back in the late 90s, with the potential for glory, given a bit of luck. (Monaco’s the exception) And indeed, we can debate all we want, it’s down to him.

              @Malibu_GP In the sense that both are champions.

              @dvc Last time I checked, he has been underwhelming compared to his Ferrari days. So his form certainly has dropped. Could the likes of Paul di Resta or Sergio Perez outperform him? Oh wait, they have.

            2. But will they continue to do so? That’s the question. Rosberg was outperforming him early in his comeback, but he isn’t now.

          4. He’s driving better than Rosberg. If you don’ think Rosberg should retire then Schumacher shouldn’t either.

            If you are going to call for someone’s retirement, do it on ability and form, not on age. In the state in which I live, moving someone on from a job because of their age alone is illegal in the vast majority of professions, maybe sport will soon follow. I’m proud of that, because it’s immoral as far as I’m concerned.

            1. @dvc Well they’re young and motivated. Quite unlike Schumacher, they’ve got a lot to prove. They’re at a point where they have to stake their claim on F1’s future, and that I believe, will drive them forwards.

        2. @dvc – the only person that has a realistic shot at 8 drivers titles (when age and other factors are taken into account) is Sebastian Vettel. He is already a quarter of the way and if he continues at that strike rate (a highly unlikely prospect but you never know) he could have 5 by the time he is celebrating his 10th full year of F1 competition (and he’d only be 30 years old – 7 years younger than Michael Schumacher was when he won his first championship).
          I highly doubt anyone would be able to match or better that achievement for a long time yet however.

          1. @robbie

            I think what the last 3 years proves is that retiring for 3 years and returning as a 40 year old plus driver, the first in 15 years is perhaps detrimental to your competitiveness.

          2. Youth is no guarantee of continued competitiveness in 5 years time. Injury, loss of form, loss of motivation, and factors unrelated to the driver all play a role.

          3. MSC was 25 when he won his first WDC.

        3. Exactly!

          1. My “Exactly” refers to @dvc, post and all his subsequent follow-ups. Young drivers need to earn their place in a top team and having earned that place should be able to keep it until a proven better driver comes along.

    8. I hope that Michael can drive for Sauber in 2013 with Hulkenberg and I hope, at the same time, that Kamui can drive for Ferrari in 2013 with Alonso, in this case we would this situation:

      McLaren: Button – Perez
      Red Bull: Vettel – Webber
      Mercedes: Hamilton – Rosberg
      Ferrari: Alonso – Kobayashi
      Sauber: Schumacher – Hulkenberg

      And Massa? Well, I think that this driver will in Force India with Di Resta. What do you think guys? :)

      1. Count me in!

    9. that’s why he is the 7-time world champion…Great man

    10. Historically I’ve never been a big Schumacher fan but have supported him the last three years primarily because he’s a few months older than me. Nothing made me feel my age more than when I realised in 2007 that I was older than every driver on the grid! I’d like to see him have one more season at Ferrari :-)

    11. Like I said in a post on my on blog (in Dutch) there is 1 person to tell schumi to continue or not, and that is schumi.
      If he feels he still has something to contribute, and still likes it….then DO IT. I’d love to see him go on, for as long as HE likes.

      My ideal line-up for 2013 (keeping current contracts in mind):

      McLaren: Button – Perez
      Ferrari: Alonso – Schumacher or Kovalainen
      Sauber: Kobayashi – Schumacher or Kovalainen
      Red Bull: Webber – Vettel
      Mercedes: Rosberg – Hamilton
      F. India: Di Resta – Hulkenberg
      Marussia: Glock – Pic (I hope they keep their 2nd man for once…)
      Caterham: I don’t care…Kovalainen if not at Ferrari/Lotus/Sauber
      Lotus: Raikkonen – Kovalainen (if not at Sauber or Ferrari)
      HRT: anyone except Pedro and Narain, but Pedro already has a deal, i’f i’m right.
      Torro Rosso: Vergne – Ricciardo
      Williams: Maldonado – Bottas

      1. Alonso said “NO” to Kimi as his team mate (for 2010).. there is no way he will agree for Schumacher as his team mate though he will likely beat him given his majestic form.

        1. I doubt that it was FA that decided whether or not KR would be his teammate for 2010. That implies that FA basically ended KR’s contract with Ferrari one year early, not to mention his F1 career, and I don’t think that was the case at all, unless I missed what would have been some pretty big headlines and some heady stuff that would still be talked about today had that happened. It was a Ferrari decision and even if FA expressed concern as to whether or not KR would be his teammate, the team would have immediately said don’t worry, we don’t like having two WDC’s on the team. KR’s gone. In fact, as far as FA was concerned KR had another year on his contract and no seat at Ferrari was open, so it would have had to have been Ferrari that would have spoken first and made it clear to FA upon their first meeting, that KR would be gone.

          It has not been the team philosophy for about 20 years now to have two WDC’s on the team at once…much to us fans’ unfortunate loss. So the thought of MS being hired back at Ferrari to teammate FA has about as much weight as the thought of KR moving back to Ferrari for 2013 to replace FM.

        2. Maybe Schumacher agrees to being a “much better #2” than Massa to Alonso.

          Remember Eddie Irvine once said that they start the season on equal terms and whoever gets 40 points (old money) more than the other becomes the #1.

          Ferrari can do that again and be the GLORIUS TEAM that used to be.

          TWO BIG NAMES with a rule like the above or similar … in new dilted points system unfortunately.

          1. Lol, I doubt EI ever had a fair chance against MS…they weren’t going to have spent all that money on MS only to have EI somehow become the number 1. It just was never in the cards for anyone other than MS to have all the advantages at Ferrari. And how would EI have even done it driving the same car as MS…the one designed for MS?

            Winding the clock forward, why would anyone want to see yet again a designated number 2, even if he is a better one than FM, to FA. Can’t FA do it on his own? Don’t you want to see him win on his own merit? Isn’t a guaranteed number 2 rather like race fixing? Doesn’t it take the racing out of the pinnacle of racing? Do you actually think that MS, after having been the designated number one at Ferrari, would take a back seat to FA now? To what end? To end his career on an even lower low than has now evolved with him not being asked back at Mercedes before he even had a chance to tell the world his plans for 2013?

            1. F1 is a team sport so ALL teams have #1 and #2 policy in place. Some hide it better than others.

              And yes Michael wouldn’t mind playing the #2 role only to show how competitive he still is while chasing Alonso and “protecting him” from other chasers. Who knows Ferrari might even publically state that after certain number of races whoever is ahead will be #1 and bring back all the excitmenet again. The drivers have to agree to it in public so when they play #2 role, the fans know what the score is.

              I know I am dreaming, but sometimes dreams come true :)

            2. I like to think the reality is that all teams who are in the end knocking on the door of a WDC in any given season may have to decide on a number one or two based on where they are points-wise in the standings. And I like to think the drivers know that and realize that if they had a fair shot at the WDC but it didn’t work out for them, yet their teammate does have a legitimate shot, then it has to be all about the one with the shot for the last bit of the season.
              For teams not vying for the WDC, a team order in whatever form that can come is not even necessary and it just makes sense for both drivers to strive for maximum points as the season winds down, and one driver might only need to be allowed past his teammate if doing otherwise would be holding said driver back from potentially scoring more points due to more pace at the time.

              I have much less respect for teams that feel they need to designate a number one or two from race one of a given season. I think in that scenario we the viewers are robbed of what should be two gladiators duking it out on a top team in the pinnacle of racing.

              So not only do I have major issues with the way MS achieved his numbers, I certainly do not think there is a single cell in MS’s being that would see him consiously be a designated number two to someone else. Not only would he rather retire if that were his only option, I think he would rather die.

              I know your’re dreaming and I hope I didn’t just give you a nightmare.

            3. “F1 is a team sport so ALL teams have #1 and #2 policy in place. Some hide it better than others.” +1000, Some just can’t accept that

              And Michael Schumacher just way better than his teammates at Ferrari or Benetton

            4. Thank goodness most teams only use team orders when they have to, and otherwise let the performances on the track determine who, if need be, should be the number 1 or number 2 driver. You guys make it sound like all teams have at least a hidden if not up front contracted number 1 and number 2, and I shudder to think what a joke F1 would be if that were the case.

              As to MS…of course he was way better than his teammates at Ferrari…they didn’t hire drivers that could or would challenge him…nobody thought of EI or RB as WDC material, and that is why they were brought onto the team and that is why they were compliant to the teams instructions that they were not to get in MS’s way. They were never good enough to have earned a spot on a top team…at the time they were hired at Ferrari they hadn’t done anything to deserve a top ride. And since they were hired to be compliant with the team’s desires, that gave the green flag for them to design the car toward MS’s likings, ignoring what EI or RB might like…that was irrelevant. So to say MS was plain and simple better than his teammates is way oversimplifying the reality and living in a dream world. Of course he was better than them. We knew that before EI and RB even turned a wheel at Ferrari…and then on top of that they were driving cars built for MS’s needs, not theirs. They never stood a chance from race one of each season of winning the WDC.

              Ask yourselves this…would you actually like F1 to be that way…every team has a contracted number 1 and a number 2 to not interfere with him? Would that be the pinnacle of racing to you? Or would it be half the grid either trying to get out of the way of, or trying to interfere with, the other half.

            5. not buying that

    12. He should leave now and let young people drive.

    Comments are closed.