Michael Schumacher announces second F1 retirement

2012 F1 season

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Michael Schumacher has confirmed he will retire from F1 for the second time at the end of 2012.

“I have decided to retire from Formula One at the end of the season, although I am still able to compete with the best drivers of the world,” said Schumacher in a statement released today.

“This is something that makes me proud, and this is part of why I never regretted my comeback. I can be happy with my performance and the fact that I was continuously raising my game during the last three years. But then, at some point it is time to say goodbye.

“Already during the past weeks and months I was not sure if I would still have the motivation and energy which is necessary to go on; and it is not my style to do anything which I am not 100% convinced about. With today’s decision I feel released from those doubts.

“In the end, it is not my ambition to just drive around but to fight for victories; and the pleasure of driving is nourished by competitiveness.”

“We did not achieve our goal”

“I have said at the end of 2009 that I want to be measured by my success,” added Schumacher, “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 goal to develop a world championship fighting car within those three years. It is also without doubt that I cannot provide a long term perspective to anyone.”

“But then it is also clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in Formula One.

“In the past six years I have learned a lot, also about me, and I am thankful for it: for example, that you can open yourself up without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning; something I had lost out of sight sometimes in earlier years. That you have to appreciate to be able to do what you love. That you have to live your convictions. I have opened my horizon, and I am at ease with myself.

“I would like to thank Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and the Team for their trust. But I also would like to thank all my friends, partners and companions, who over many good years in motorsport supported me. But most of all I would like to thank my family for standing always by my side, giving me the freedom to live my convictions and sharing my joy.”

“He is the greatest Formula One driver”

Schumacher originally retired from F1 at the end of 2006, then returned with Mercedes in 2010. His place at the team has been taken by Lewis Hamilton for 2013.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said it was an “emotional day” as Schumacher made public his decision.

“We have enjoyed so many experiences together during our time at Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes, and I feel very proud, honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Michael so

“In my opinion, he is the greatest Formula One driver, and the records which he holds in our sport speak volumes for his success and commitment. On behalf of everyone at our Silver Arrows team, we wish Michael all the best with his future plans and extend our sincere thanks to him for his commitment, passion and hard work during our three years together.

“We have not achieved the results that we would have wished during this time; however Michael’s contribution to our development and the future of our team has been significant. Whatever Michael decides to do next, I am sure that he will be keeping a close eye on our progress in the years to come.”

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice president Norbert Haug said: “Michael began his professional racing career in 1989 as a member of the Mercedes Junior Team in Group C Prototypes, and he will conclude it at the end of this season with our Mercedes AMG Petronas Silver Arrows works team, as he informed first us and then the international media today.

“Michael did a fantastic job during the build-up phase of our still-young Silver Arrows works team and, although we have not yet achieved our targets in our third season, Michael’s invaluable hard work has established the foundations for future success. For this, we give him our thanks and recognition.

“All of us in the team – and first and foremost Michael – are working hard to have six more races in which we can show a respectable level of performance together. Thank you, Michael, for everything: it was, and is, a pleasure to work with you.”

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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...

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152 comments on “Michael Schumacher announces second F1 retirement”

  1. Sad to hear this, not surprised though!

    1. So am I. There’s a slight of sad feeling Michael finally retires from F1 altogether, yet on the other hand I’m quite sure many people, regardless they’re the fans of Schumacher or not, don’t want to see him suffer any longer in a car that is not winning.

      So long, Michael. All the best.

      1. a car that is not winning.

        Except in his team mate’s hands.

        And let’s not forget Schumacher’s ‘phantom pole’ at Monaco either. The W03 may not be an MP4-27, but it is a race-winner.

        1. Really Keith, that coming from you? Mercedes were good in the first 3 races, and come on form in Monaco (or maybe it was just their drivers showing exceptional skill there). All things said, I cannot see where Michael could have won in the past 3 years. The first 3 races of the year, when the car was actually decent, Schumacher was let down by the team. Pointless jibe there, Keith.

          1. Maybe not wins, but there have been several podiums lost through reliability issues or just stupidity (on his or the teams part).

          2. It was not a “jibe”, I was simply pointing out the car has won a race this year so it’s incorrect to say it’s not a “winning” car.

          3. The W03 is a race winner – that’s a hard cold fact, not a jibe.

            But if we wish to engage in speculation, had it been in the hands of Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton, shaving a tenth or two off in qualifying and staying clear of midfield trouble, putting in blinding laps when they counted, staying out of trouble when it mattered, how many podiums might Mercedes have had this year? We will never know, but I’d bet my house that Alonso would have taken it into the top five in the standings at least. And Ross Brawn – one of Schumi’s dearest friends – clearly agrees that his cars need better handling.

          4. “Schumi would have already won three races this year with Sauber,” said Fernando Alonso…..nothing more to say Keith, that how good opinion have W03.

          5. Agreed and Fernando Alonso said it best. No matter all the non believer think i agree with Brawn he is the greatest driver. Seeing him drive the cars in all of his career just show his greatness. His name is synonymous to Formula 1

        2. Yes, and I think it’s worth to remember that Rosberg outperformed Schumacher when the car was at its best, namely, in China. And, while the car problems were to blame for his retirement at Monaco, Schumacher himself was responsible for starting from 6th instead of the pole position.

          1. Only in china.

        3. The car was capable of winning for a brief period, but it is clearly not capable of it now.

        4. And I think it is worth pointing out that the race Rosberg won was the one where Schumacer retired because they didn’t screw the wheel on properly at the first pit-stop. It’s a bit harsh to deem Schumacher’s performance in his come back a failure on the basis of a third of a race.

          1. The race NR won had him pulling away from MS right from the getgo. If I take anything away from these last 3 years it is that MS isn’t the genius car developer that he was credited for at Ferrari where he had unlimited testing and resources and his own car. Merc still sits a distant 5th in the WCC, in spite of them having a race winning car. If he is going to be given such accolades for his work at Ferrari, then where were the results at Merc? Merc (BrawnGP) had won a recent WDC, unlike Ferrari who was in a 16 year WDC drought at the time MS joined.
            So the fact they still sit 5th in the WDC, the fact that MS has had more lows than highs in these 3 years (the usual bullying of some drivers like RB, the lost front wings on several occasions last season, the incidents this season) proves to me furthermore how good he had it, hand over fist, at Ferrari, and without all those advantages he has been ragged and handcuffed to do anything but have the odd fleeting better moment. For him to say he has shown he can compete with the drivers of today is I think debatable…sure, on occasion that has been the case, but certainly not consistantly, and given where he sits in the standings and where he ended up last year and the year before, I think it is fair to say he hasn’t competed with todays crew. He hasn’t advanced the car, he has one podium in 3 years, he has been badly outpointed by his teammate 3 years running which is also unprecedented (see what happens when a teammate of his actually has a fair chance to compete against him?). And yes he has had unreliability, but so have others and when you balance things out MS has only had a few more technical issues than the likes of SV and LH and yet look where he sits.

            I think it remains true what Reubens said upon hearing of MS’s return to F1…”he has more to lose than to gain.” and I think what he has lost is some shine off the apple because he has shown that it wasn’t all him in the Ferrari haydays…it was a lot to do with the massive advantages he had back then too, so different has been the results from this stint in F1. It’s not all down to age and technical gremlins. Brawn had him as 2010 WDC. How the mighty have fallen. I agree that he has lost more than he has gained from this return and I’m just so so glad Brawn didn’t load up his side of the garage like MS had it at Ferrari such that we were able to see the true colours of MS having a teammate unintimidated and unaffected by a designated number one on the team.

          2. @robbie I think that if anyone thought that Ferrari became the force they were due to one person then they both underestimate and devalue the sport. Schumacher won the races because he had the best team. He brought the right people to Ferrari and had time to develop it perfectly. His seasons before the 2000’s are far more impressive to me than what he did after the turn of the century. Arguably, the opposition was the weakest for the decade before and since. These factors helped him win races and championships by miles but in all probability even if all other competitors were on the top of their game for years, MS would still probably have beaten them. I was no great fan of his but can pick out on average 2 races a season where no-one could touch him. and by that I mean no-one ever. That is a phenomenal return. For me Senna, Clark and Fangio will always be better but no-one can belittle his achievements, on his day he was amazing. Comparing 97 or 98 schumi against his current self is completely pointless, by 2006 he was past it. There were great races but not of the same calibre they were before. His return has been average but it doesn’t prove he was a fraud in his first career, it only proves F1 is a young mans game which requires absolute dedication which, quite rightly, he can no longer give.

          3. @rbalonso…fair enough and I’m sure many would agree with your stance. I personally believe through and through that he had more advantages hand over fist than any other driver in the history of F1, and the numbers reflect that. I think that given a bonefide top level teammate which would have provided him with physical competition on the track in a car built for both drivers not one, and the psychological affect a bonefide teammate would have had on him on and off the track, and competition at the top of their game as you suggest, he woud have not had nearly the numbers he compiled and we would have found him much more ragged and rattled when all the ducks weren’t line up in a row.

            It’s silly to deny the run he had, but I think it is crucial to appreciate the massive effort that went behind him in order to compile those numbers. And on top of that, going back to his whack on DH in 94, I have never been able to garner respect for his tactics on the track all the while having those massive advantages.

        5. Except in his team mate’s hands.

          And let’s not forget Schumacher’s ‘phantom pole’ at Monaco either. The W03 may not be an MP4-27, but it is a race-winner.

          No offence intended, but sounds a bit immature there @keithcollantine

          Sure the car has won once with “team mate’s” hands, but clearly Schumacher has proven that he was not necessarily slower than Rosberg . On the end of the day Mercedes has not been competitive enough for nether of the drivers .

          1. agreed. the petty, gleeful sniping and snark is mystifying.

        6. Well said.

          That would be his due win.

        7. @keithcollantine

          a car that is not winning.

          Except in his team mate’s hands.

          It is incorrect to say that the car is winning. Winning implies the present tense. The car has won; past tense. It’s a complete misrepresentation of the original poster’s sentiments to talking in the present tense and say that the car is winning is Schumacher’s teammates hands.

          The car won once, around six months ago; past tense.

          1. “The Mercedes W03 is a winning car” is a correct statement. It won the Chinese Grand Prix.

        8. The W03 was a race winning car. It is no longer. Extremely different things. But the whole argument is academic; point is that the car was never a consistent, competitive platform from which to win races regularly. There can be no implication that Nico’s solitary win is evidence that MS patently failed to perform.

      2. A nice twist of words… “not a winning car” or “a car that is not winning” are not the same.

        1. LOL at above comments hahaha

          Look, my point was simple (plus I’m no F1 expert like Keith); Michael never really have won anything since his comeback in 2010. The Mercedes W-something he drives is a ‘differently-set up’ car from Rosberg’s, which has won something.

          An article I’ve read stated that two cars on one team is never really alike. The setups differ one car to another. So maybe Rosberg has the winning-set up car, but Michael doesn’t. So Michael’s car is not winning.

          Now please excuse me because I have to do my math homework. :p

          1. I get the little back and forth here about a winning car vs. a car that is not winning, but I think in fairness to Keith it is a fact that the car has won a race in NR’s hands and that MS achieved a pole time in Monaco. And I extend that to mean that in the remaining races this season the car/team could win again…it has proven to be capable of winning a race this year, just as another team/driver may yet win this season that hasn’t yet.

  2. All the best for the future Michael, or shall I say, Red Baron :)

  3. Wow. Like Hamilton’s switch, it seemed likely in the lead-up to the announcement, but still the actual confirmation is a bit of a shock.

  4. This is the best for Schumacher. Still it makes me sad there’s no place for him even if he wants to continue…

    1. I think there was place. He just didn’t want to go there.

    2. Schumacher:

      “Whatever comes after, we will see. There is no point or any need to find any decisions right now, and I will do it exactly as I did it the first time, although I didn’t at that time think there was a second time but here we are, which is to focus and finish 100 per cent on what I do.”

      “There is no more to say about this. I have options obviously yes, and you know some of the options. But whatever they will be, we will decide when the time is there.”

      Another comeback?

    3. As a fan I think that’s the best call. Like Ross Brawn and stats say, he’s the greatest ever.

      1. He can still drive in other events/series for fun, no? Just no more in F1 at the pinnacle of motorsport. I’d be ok w/ that – seeing Schumacher competing “for fun” (but still to win) every now and again while enjoying those tens and tens of millions of euros earned over a phenomenal career.

      2. I dont think statistics give you a definitive conclusion on the ‘who is the greatest’ argument. Michael Schumacher’s stats say that he was the greatest driver to dominate his generation. Dosent make him the greatest

  5. I still think the 2010 comeback was a mistake and he only damaged his legendary status. Please, Michael, don’t change your mind again.

      1. I think a legend is creating on facts. So how is possible “to damage a legendary status” by acheiving new records(few, not so import, but still records), like Schumacher did in these 3 years. A legend will be remember by statistics, to be exacly.

    1. +1111111

    2. Er, how has he ‘damaged’ his reputation? He has still won the same number of championships and races – those achievements are not lessened, are they? OK, so he wasn’t as good as he was 15 or 10 years ago, but what did everyone expect? Overall showed himself to be competitive at a very advanced aged for a modern sportsman – and there’s no shame in that.

      Incidentally, his statement above shows a lot of class and dignity. Modesty and self-awareness are no qualities he excelled in in previous years and in that, if nothing else, he deserves credit.

      1. “but what did everyone expect?”

        Brawn had him as 2010 WDC, and most people were giving him a mere handful of races before he was up to speed.

        1. ‘Brawn had him as 2010 WDC’

          Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? It’s just PR talk; it’s not a realistic assessment of expectations.

          The point is, MS came back at the age of 40+. He wasn’t as good as before, and at times drove poorly. But on the other hand, he’s still one of the best 10 or so drivers on the grid. Like I say, there’s no shame there.

          1. I disagree…I don’t think Brawn would have said that as mere PR talk. I think he believed it and expected it. And most of his fans were right in there with RB on that and were expecting him to be on form in no time.

            I also think that if age is to be used as an excuse, then he should not have returned. I think MS was the same as before, only without the massive advantages. He was prone to bullying before, and he did that on his return. He was prone to mental errors before, when all the ducks weren’t line up in a row and he has certainly had at least as many of those as any other driver in the last 3 years.

    3. Got one more +

    4. From what I can remember, Schumi actually had more “haters” than supporters back in 2010. People would regularly remind us about his “semi legal” deeds on the track and how his status as n1 in Ferrari got him the titles and not him actually being that good. I’ve read these posts on different forums and I don’t mind that people have their opinions. But the thing is here, if you were a team boss and you had the opportunity to test as much as you want and even give one driver the better car, which one of those would you give it to? The one that’s not as good as the other? Even if its an extremely small margin. So I guess I’m trying to say is – he got the status and the help from the team because they believed he could achieve more with that N1 status. Which i really think he did with the 6 WCC and 5 WDC.

      Now, after his second retirement, people (from what I’ve read and understood from posts) like him a lot more than before his comeback. And as a post before me said, what he has achieved cannot be undone. The records still stand to this day so I don’t really think he ruined his reputation, if anything, he just added to his “legendary” status something that we couldn’t see much in his winning years – humility and knowing how to take defeats.

      1. I dont know about ruining his reputation, i think that was ruined many years ago xD what he did do certainly was decrease his wins vs races attempted ratio (not that statistics tells us who was the greatest ever anyway)

        give one driver the better car aye….I would give it to the better driver; Mika Hakkinen xDxDxDxDxD

        1. Too bad “McLaren did give the better car to Mika”…. :(

      2. @gr1mr4kn3ss …the problem I have with a team designating a driver as number 1 ala MS/Ferrari is when it is done by contract, and starts from race 1 of each season, such that there is no racing between two drivers on a top team. Which then means they go ahead a build the car for that designated driver. Which no longer makes it an apples to apples comparison to the rest of the field unless the other teams follow suit. That to me takes away hugely from what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing. What Ferrari did with MS was to me not honourable and not respecting the viewing audience. Patrick Head used this phrase…”What a shame they forego the spirit of racing for the sake of share value.”

        I would far prefer the opposite scenario ala Senna/Prost at Mac. Sure it gave the team fits, and it is harder on a team when two gladiators are duking it out and taking points off each other. But that’s supposed to be what we pay to see. At Mac in that era they won all but one race that year, so you got to be pretty convinced as the later races of the season approached that a Mac would win…you just didn’t know which driver it would be, and that was thrilling. I found nothing thrilling about seeing MS getting everything his way, including not one iota of true competition, physically or mentally, from his teammate. And that is just one example of the many advantages he had compared to the true greats who had much more adverse conditions under which to win their WDC(s).

  6. All for the best, I’m sure. I think there were offers for him elsewhere, but he’s decided (quite rightly) that he shouldn’t just be there to make up the numbers.

    Danke, Michael. Thank you for everything.

    1. TheManyHamiltons
      4th October 2012, 9:29

      All for the best

      he really shud have gone down, but down the road of forming his own team. I mean, what is he going to with close to a billion dollars of money anyway!

      1. I don’t think he has THAT much money. Am guessing it’s closer to half a billion. I think it’s better off being in the bank than in F1, given how F1 just eats money for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Still, don’t be surprised if he still ends up buying a stake in an F1 team in the future (Sauber, post-Mercedes Brackley, or otherwise).

        1. This article states that he was the first sportsperson to become a billionaire.


  7. I think it’s the right decision. Schumacher was never sure if he really wanted to continue.

    There is an interesting interview with him in the latest issue of F1 Racing. He admits that the current tyres still irritate him so I think that maybe the current regulations have contributed to his decision. On the other hand, he says he has never thought about setting up his own team and has no other future goals, too. I wonder what he’s going to do next then.

  8. Though I knew it was coming but am sad, his second phase wasn’t the best,hope he comes up with something great in the next 6 races,you will be missed.

  9. I’m sad to hear this, but it had to happen eventually. Schumacher for me is the greatest ever. I hope he goes out in style like he did in 2006.

    1. I agree. It’s a shame that he has to retire like this. One of the most memorable race for me was Interlagos 2006, his “last race”. He had a lot of problems including a puncture which cause him to see the entire field move past him. But then, he rejoined the race and finished fourth scoring the fastest lap in the process. This was a farewell worthy of his career.

  10. so what are the odds on Schumacher to win le mans 2013?

    1. @zecks I would say zero. He did Le Mans in 1991 and apparently considers it too unsafe.

      A pity, because I’d like to see him continue racing at the top flight and the World Endurance Championship would be a great place for him.

    2. TheManyHamiltons
      4th October 2012, 9:30

      how ’bout 20/12? ;-)

  11. I do hope he doesn’t disappear like last time (aside from the odd sporadic motorcycle race). He’s clearly still incredibly able and fast enough. There are guys out there 20 years older than him racing and winning in LMP and GT cars. He could (and should) easily become a sportscar legend.

    1. @ajokay He has already raced in Le Mans in 1991 (For Sauber, ironically enough) but looking at what he was doing, despite being considerably faster than the other drivers, he couldn’t make the car last 24 hours… I agree that he shouldn’t disappear though, I started watching F1 in 2002 so he was the first driver I really knew, it’ll be a shame to see him go again..

      1. Much like modern F1 cars LMP and GT cars have become extremely reliable in mechanical terms. Audi and Peugeot pretty much drove endurance races like GPs in the last few years when they went head to head. He could just hop in and push like mad, only thing is he’d have to find a compromise setup with whoever he shares the car with.

    2. I fully agree with that @ajokay, it would be great if he could go and hit the endurance tracks in a push take the string GT wins from Ferrari and then be part of Mercedes joining the LMP field with the same F1 engine in a prototype.
      Its an area where testing is still allowed and he really could make a difference and ad to his racing legacy.

  12. It’s rather sad if he’s been pushed into retirement for the second time – I hope he at least gets to finish on a high note, like his charging drive in Brazil in 2006. It’s a pity he didn’t announce his retirement first, before McLaren and Mercedes were ready to tell the world they’d signed Perez and Hamilton. I guess that’s typical of the way he hasn’t quite looked in control of everything during his comeback.

    1. I really don’t think its him being pushed this time, or maybe just given the final push he needed.

      If you look at what he says, it shows he really made a development from being a ruthless success machine to becoming a human being, a complete person.

      “In the past six years I have learned a lot, also about me, and I am thankful for it: for example, that you can open yourself up without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning; something I had lost out of sight sometimes in earlier years. That you have to appreciate to be able to do what you love. That you have to live your convictions. I have opened my horizon, and I am at ease with myself.

      1. Yeah I thought that was a very nice touch by Schumi. I think that the incident with Barrichello at Hungary in 2010 aside, we’ve gone from seeing Schumacher the ruthless competitor in his first career to Schumacher the sportsperson and ambassador in his second. It’s a nice mellowing!

  13. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    4th October 2012, 9:14

    I never thought i’d blink twice at this announcement. But now that it’s happened, i’m genuinely sad. I really hope we see him in the F1 garages and in the paddock for a long time to come.

    A true icon & Hero

  14. Looking back over the past three years, I have to ask: was it worth it?

    When Schumacher retired at the end of 2006, he clearly wasn’t done with the sport. He probably had another two seasons in him, especially if he had been partnered with Massa, rather than Raikkonen. I think he left too soon, and he stayed out too long. His comeback has had its good moments – scoring points in his first race back, a podium in Valencia, his qualifying lap at Monaco – but they were few and far between, and the effect enven further diluted by constant menchanical faults and a series of rookie errors, particularly this year. Unfortunately, I think history will remember both his retirements as coming at low points in his career: the first came when he cruelly lost the title to Alonso with an engine failure at Suzuka, and the second coming during a lacklustre and inconsistent season.

    1. TheManyHamiltons
      4th October 2012, 9:35

      I think history will remember both his retirements as coming at low points

      no sympathies from my side! bcoz to even reach this page of his history book, one has to go through the other pages of his ‘highest-this’ and ‘most-that entries’, which would make this(retirement faux pas) just a fine print buried among the larger phrases!

    2. When Schumacher retired at the end of 2006, he clearly wasn’t done with the sport. He probably had another two seasons in him, especially if he had been partnered with Massa, rather than Raikkonen.

      I think you nailed it with that one PM.

      Schumacher sticking with Massa till 2008 would have been fantastic. I think Michael would have very likely won another championship, possibly helped Massa win in 08 and won at least another half dozen races or so for himself.

      If Ferrari had the chance to do it over again, I bet they would have kept Michael and Felipe on a few more seasons and then brought in Raikkonen and Alonso. A Raikkonen-Alonso partnership at Ferrari this season would be one-two in the WDC and give Ferrari a WCC to boot.

    3. @prisoner-monkeys I believe that, after many years, people won’t be talking much about these low points, just like we ain’t paying much attention to Nuvolari’s final years or Lauda’s 1985 season today.

      Schumacher’s 2nd career obviously turned out to be much less impressive than most people expected but it’s always easy to be critical with hindsight. It is what it is, I believe Schumacher shouldn’t have any regrets.

      1. Nuvolari and Lauda didn’t achieve the same things as Michael Schumacher. And nor were there things like Wikipedia back then, which records Schumacher’s results in agonising detail.

        1. And an unfortunate record in those is that this season, he has already suffered the most number of retirements of any season in his career…

      2. I agree about Nuvolari and Lauda. Even a comparatively modern driver like Damon Hill tends to remembered positively, for Suzuka 94, the 96, championship, Hungary 97, Belgium 98 etc, not for his frankly atrocious 99 and embarrassing ‘lack of motivation’ last race retirement in Suzuka.

    4. @PM… I think you’ve said a mouthful here…”He probably had another two seasons in him, especially if he had been partnered with Massa, rather than Raikkonen. I think he left too soon…”

      I don’t think it was MS’s choice, like you are (likely unintentionally) making it sound. I think it was then like it is now…ok Michael…enough is enough…it’s been great but it’s time for a change and we’re bringing in KR, a WDC level driver, like it or not. ie. Ferrari needed and wanted to move on and couldn’t keep sustaining the massive expenditures involved in doing it the MS/Ferrari way. I think he was pushed out, as evidenced by most people’s opinion that he retired too soon. I don’t think it was entirely up to him.

      Similar to today’s announcement…sure he might have announced his retirement anyway, that remains an unknown, but the fact that Merc announced MS’s replacement before MS had a chance to say anything, rings eerily true to how it was for him in 06 at Ferrari. We don’t know what you’re doing, but here’s what we’re doing…

      MS has been sheltered from having a WDC level teammate and it was never in the cards for him to have KR as one. Two more years at Ferrari with Massa wasn’t an option for the team but if it was, FM would not have been allowed to truly compete. And when he finally had a win-capable teammate unencumbered to compete against him, we have seen the results.

  15. Very sad. It’s not a surprise, but when the most successful driver of the sport retires you can’t help being sad.

  16. Didn’t see why he had to re-enter F1 and now I don’t see why he has to retire. Especially when it seems like he is getting into some form.
    Anyways, it was fun while it lasted.

  17. I think that’s the right decision. He’s had his time and success in F1 – now it’s time to hand over to the current generation.

  18. I love Schumi, but I can’t stop thinking of him as the typical senile executive that stays in the company because he thinks he can perform and while he does ok, he hampers the progress of younger executives. I will miss him though, thats for sure

  19. Very very sad. Used to dislike him when he was arrogant, but he grew up a lot and is a real gentleman of the sport. I will really miss him. I just hope he can snatch that elusive victory in his final 6 races.

    1. Real gentleman of the sport? It seems that you’ve forgotten what he did to Barrichello at Hungaroring back in 2010.

      1. Which he a) was penalised for b) apologised for and c) learnt from and hasn’t been quite so aggressive since.

        1. That doesn’t change the fact that MSC risked RB’s life with that kamikaze-move.

  20. I have mixed feelings about this decision. I believe it is right, but he will always remain a legend in my eyes.

    The thing I like the most about this decision is that it is purely his decision, he came back with thoughts of making a great comeback, now he can leave knowing that he didn’t leave any stone unturned. No regrets!

  21. PS We’ll miss you Schumi!

  22. Despite the lack of success in his second career, I think it was the right choice to come back. He wanted to race again, and he has enjoyed himself doing so over the past three years. Equally the fans wanted to see him come back, and I for one enjoyed many of his racing moments over the past three years.

  23. Glad to see he has now developed some self awareness. A great, nee peerless, motivator of a team and quicker than anyone on the grid when he needed to be, his faults, for sure, outweigh his record. A bully with no balls to have a team mate as an equal and a string of nasty and downright dangerous monoeveres all in the name of “Shuey must win.” mean his record is tainted in a way no other multiple champion has been.

    He did take the sport to another level with his commitment and since his return found the transition to “turn up and drive” impossible to overcome. His achievements leave a nasty taste in my mouth but there is no doubting in career 1 he was in a league of his own, good and bad. Career 2? well that just kinda proved if he didnt hold all the marbles he couldnt win.

  24. All the best for, best ever F1 driver. No one can comes againt laws of nature.

  25. $%&*@#!

    I can’t even print what I’d like to say.

    Lewis better do wonders in that Mercedes, because Schumacher is stepping aside right at the point in time when he and Mercedes seem to have gelled the most.

    Here’s to hoping Michael can finally get the big 92 (win) 69 (pole) 77 (fastest lap) or at least podium number 156.

    1. Lewis better do wonders in that Mercedes

      Well, the true judgement of that will come when we see how Hamilton holds up against Rosberg. That will also tell us just how good Schumacher actually was.

  26. And stay out! Get a hobby or something….

    (I jest)

  27. Next year, 44 laps are scheduled for the 2013 Belgian GP on 25th August, 22 years after Michael Schumacher started in F1 (aged 22).

    1. And Schumacher will be aged 44 then ;)

      1. That’s what I was trying to get across ;-)

  28. I think everyone, save a few compulsive Michael-haters, will be sad to see him go. He is a great guy and a true champion, and has taken the sport to another level. I can’t say if the comeback was a mistake, only he can judge that for himself. I do hope he stays in Formula 1 as an advisor to Mercedes, or maybe he could return to Ferrari. That September day in 2006 came as a shock to me because at that time I did not follow F1 as closely as I do now(I only watched the races), so I did not know about the rumours that Raikkonen had signed a deal with Ferrari to race for them in 2007. Today, I follow F1 much more closely, and even though (https://www.racefans.net/2012/10/02/f1-fanatic-roundup-0210/#comment-1074624) I had written a comment about why he should not go searching for a seat, I think F1 will be a slightly poorer place next year. Well, as all things, let us hope it is for the best. Danke Michael!!!

  29. I know I’m gonna be missing some here but….

    Ricky Carmichael (22)
    Steve Kinser (20)
    John Force (15)
    Giacomo Agostini (15)
    Jeremy McGrath (12)
    Bob Glidden (10)
    Valentino Rossi (9)
    John Surtees (8)
    Sébastien Loeb (8)
    Richard Petty (7)
    Dale Earnhardt Sr (7)
    A.J. Foty (7)
    Michael Schumacher (7)

    I’m sure there are a handful more but still the point I’m trying to make is pretty apparent. Out of Thousands of “Professional” (or “Big Time” whatever you want to call it) Racers out there each year & the Millions that have been over the 118 years (based on “World’s First Motor Race” in 1894) Motorsports has been around there are only maybe 20 drivers that truly dominated their discipline of choice and given all the variables in racing that’s saying something.

    1. BTW that should be Foyt not Foty lol

    2. I think you forgot Stefan Everts (10)

  30. Shame to see him go so young.
    At his age, Fangio was winning the second of his five championships.

    1. The quality of the field was probably lesser at the time though.

      1. FlyingLobster27
        4th October 2012, 18:08

        I wouldn’t say that, but F1 was much less about perfection back then. Nowadays drivers are very athletic, it takes a lot of physical prep just to get into a car, whereas back in the 50s, you had not very skinny people like José Frolian Gonzalez scoring podiums…

        1. Yeah, a totally different world. The technical aspect of F1 wasn’t there anywhere near like it is now. The changes that now occur even just from one year to the next. The G’s were nowhere near what they are now etc etc.

          I think the one thing the drivers back then had that today’s don’t need nearly as much of, is bravery. Huge bravery. So many drivers died back then, such was the understanding of safety in car and track construction lacking. Those drivers literally took their lives into their own hands, as did spectators too. Not the case today at all, not that a fatality can’t happen, but the odds are so much less that I doubt the drivers do much worrying with a race coming up, whereas in the 50’s many likely wondered if they would survive the race but did it anyway.

    2. In the 50’s a F1 race lasted more than 3 hours. The physical demand was tremendous. Juan Manuel Fangio was 38 years old when he started racing in F1 and won his first title when he was 40. The quality of the field was excellent. He raced against Moss, Collins, Hawthorn, Bonier, Ascari, Trintignant, Musso, Behra, Brooks, Gregori, von Trips, Schell, Brabhan, Castelloti, Hermann, González and Portago who were all younger than him. Gregori and Brooks were 21 years younger, Collins was 20 years younger, Stirling
      Moss and Hawthorn were 18 years younger, Gregori and Brooks were 21 years younger, Collins was 20 years younger, Stirling Moss and Hawthorn were 18 years younger.

  31. It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goal to develop a world championship fighting car within those three years. It is also without doubt that I cannot provide a long term perspective to anyone.“But then it is also clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in Formula One.

    The man himself says it better than I would. Was his comeback a success ? No. Did it lessen his overall achievments ? Hell no. I never was a Shumi fan (Hakkinen man really) but I really have been enjoying every bit of his come back. He has become to me the proof that you can still be a top sportsman past 40 and the fact that he has only become better each year in those 3 years really is a strong motivation to me.

    I am not as old as Schumi, but having been a quite high wolrd level competitor in my sport and having stopped to find a decent job, I have started again (parallel to my regular work as engineer) at the same time Schumi did and been blown away by the competition. Since, I always find his work back to the top is just a proof that I have to be better and work harder than those who never stopped, and that though I will probably never win again, i can yet enjoy competitively my sport for a long long time to come.

    So Michael Schumacher has become since his comeback a new role model to at least one person. And isn’t it a huge achievment in itself ?

  32. Mixed emotions abut this one. As a fan of Damon HIll’s in the early/mid 90’s MSC was usually the person who spoiled race weekends for me by pulling out a race win from nowhere or because he absolutely dominated the weekend. But since his comeback I no longer view him with contempt. He has been a much more relaxed and seemingly aimiable chap. He may have lost the egde in racing terms, but becoming a bit more “human” in his approach has only served to improve the way I view him. He’ll be missed.

  33. Well, I still kept a bit of hope Schumacher will stay for another year but it was never gonna be with anyone other than Mercedes. Now that all is settled, I’m curious of three things:
    1. Will Michael finally be able to go for 92 before the end of the season? I reckon this would provide him some closure so he’s gonna go for it. That’s for sure.
    2. Will he take the management job at Merc? And if so, will it be just an ambassador position or will he have a say in the team?
    3. This clears the seats at Sauber, since Peter’s team was the only one who seemed willing to take Schumacher on board. Now, Alguersuari and Kovalainen maybe?

    1. Jaime may have lost one competitor for the seat in Schumacher, but he gets Kovalainen in his place. And Pastor Maldonado has also hinted to Will Buxton that he may not be at Williams next year, either. His PDVSA money would be very useful to Sauber next year…

      1. I have a feeling Alguersuari already has a contract with Sauber, ever since Perez’s move to McLaren became clear. He’s just waiting for the right moment to make it public. It’s the second seat of Kamui who’s being eyed by Maldonado and Kovalainen, I reckon.

  34. Good riddance!

    1. How can you say that, the man is a legend of this sport and he has proved that over his whole career. He regenerated Ferrari into a competitive team and a winning team.

      Some may say it was the car but there were some races where he showed his talent eg in the wet in barcelona or when he was stuck in 4th gear and bringing the car home. Or his classic battles with Mika Hakkinen and that awe inspiring win in suzuka.

      One of the most grittiest and determined drivers I have ever seen drive in his pomp he would not let any1 pass him easily a true racer and as he proved in his 2nd career a human not a german winning machine.
      Goodbye Micheal

    2. I’m still hopeful of your retirement.

  35. Well I’m bummed out.

    I certainly have enjoyed Michael’s second career in F1. He seemed to me to be a driver who knew enough to enjoy what he is doing, have supreme confidence in himself and not come off as arrogant. This is in stark contrast to how I used to perceive him, brash and arrogant.
    I for one will miss him on the grid when I go to Montreal next year. Certainly one of the greatest drivers ever!

  36. Understandable but sad.
    Nice to read he got something from his comeback you wouldn’t expect.

    So long old fox, I’m still rooting for you to win!

  37. It’s a pity his final year in Formula 1 contained numerous fundamental driving errors, but at least his innate speed is still apparent. Hope he finishes off well.

  38. Thanks for fantastic 3 years were you showed the real you – a mediocore driver which can be “great” and “unbeatable” only if whole team, tires and even race legislations are helping you.

    There is a saying that star should fall until it is bright, as later noone will believe that it was a star at all.

    Schumachers second career 2010-2012 – a classic example of person who can’t let it go – i hope it will be a lesson for others to think twice before humiliating themselfes infront of their fans.

    P.S. I have 6 races left to heal my wounds you left – let’s do it with music – some crash when “everyone else” brakes faster or something along the line.

  39. To get MS out of retirement they must have told him they would build a car/team around him and challenge for the championship.
    MS: “It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goal to develop a world championship fighting car within those three years.”
    I wonder what they told LH? Hold above quote to be posted in another three years.

  40. This man did the impossible and converted me – I’ve truly grown to like him. He might not have won any races or achieved any championships this time round, but for me he is still just as quick as most of the drivers up there now – and I believe he’s won even more fans for it.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      4th October 2012, 18:26

      He’s not done the impossible: he hasn’t converted me. Reading the comments on here for a while, I know I’m clearly in a minority; I didn’t want Schu to stay on another year.
      I’m mainly fed up with him doing some really silly stuff, making the sort of mistakes even rookies don’t make nowadays (Hungary, Singapore), and yet still getting all the praise where anyone else would be panned. Had it been Karthikeyan who cut in front of Vettel in Spa, we wouldn’t have heard “Narain’s still got some bite in him” from the reigning champ, would we?
      I didn’t want him to do too well anyway – I certainly didn’t want to see 2001, 2002 and 2004 all over again -, but his current form has really been crying “enough”.

  41. Personally I loved schumis comeback…he was the guy I loved to hate in the early 2000’s because he was so damn good. But in his second career I really grew to like him..he now has this perfect balance of being human and f1 legend. I’m a fan of alonso and I appreciate his 2006 champ so much more because he won it against schumacher. He is truly a f1 great. My highlight of his come back has got to be his podium at valencia alongside kimi and alonso, it was great to see how even alonso was pleasantly suprised and happy to see schumacher up next to him on the podium. I hope we see schumi on the podium again in these remaining 6 races with hopefully a victory. Ciao schumi.. 7times a legend.

  42. When He decided to come I was very sceptical. Alonso had been confirmed at Ferrari, Vettel was clearly a star of the future and Massa could have returned with the same speed as before his accident. However, I am glad MS decided to come back. In his first career I admired his skill if not his attitude. However, I have seen a different side to him on his return and it makes me appreciate how hard he worked and how much he sacrificed to be the best. I firmly believe that MS knew he would only be champion if he had a Brawn 2009 style advantage and was there only for the love of the sport and to convert many fanatics like myself. That for three years to me is acceptable, any longer would have been excessive. As mentioned in the other comments he will be remembered for his greatness not for the mistakes made in this career.

    Which brings me onto SkyF1. A 7-times champion and modern great retires and I’m watching Paul Di Resta in a helicopter. I’d like to be watching highlights of Belgium 97, Hungary 98 and Brazil 06 to remind people that Schumi’s legacy is not all cheating and winning in the best car. There were drives up there to compete with Fangio in 57 and Clark ten years later.

    We should be proud we were around to see it.

  43. It is sad to see you go Shumi. But go in the knowledge that you are the greatest F1 driver ever and that your impressive record may NEVER be broken.

  44. We will see if the Brawn Mercedes is a race winning team when Lewis gets there. Also this might reflect on how good Lewis really is!
    We know 100 GP’s ago MS could have won in a Billy Cart, but the last 3 years probably will not ever show on the track, but in the background… maybe his skills have been felt.

    1. I think that the last 3 years show that 100 GP’s ago he wouldn’t won in cart – he could won only with the mega support he had.

      A refreshing 3 years for those maniacs who worhsiped him like some kind of essence of driver skill.

  45. Thanks for everything Michael. You will be missed!

  46. Now it’s time to go out with a bang! Peeking at the very finish!

    1. If he was a pro cyclist, it would be time to encourage him to “do a Vinokourov” and figure-out how to go out in style! (Vinokourov won the Olympic road race in London this summer, and promptly announced his retirement (though he did ride one more big event post-Olympics…)) I don’t care what it takes, Michael – just give us something memorable in one of these last six GPs!

  47. So gutted to see him go. He gave us some of the finest drives ever seen on a racetrack and at times with cars that didn’t deserve to be near the front.

    Add to that he took my beloved Ferrari and dragged them to front of the field through his ruthless determination and incredible work ethic. Truly a legend.

    You will be missed.

  48. I was expecting that he will announce his retirement. When Mercedes took Hamilton for 2013, there was no place for him anymore. Driving for Sauber would probably not bring him opportunity to fight for victories, and in later years the doors at mercedes would surely be closed. So after finishing this season I see him as an ambasador of Mercedes; maybe he will decide to drive for mercedes in DTM ;)
    In my eyes his comeback was not a mistake. The public expected to much of him considering his age. But even though he is over 40, he is still competitive to younger drivers. In three years he constantly improved the pace and now almost always outperforms his younger teammate. The obvious reason for not such as good results as in previous career was also the uncompetitive car. Even the very talented Rosberg couldnt achieve more than one victory for the team…
    The brightest moment of his comeback will be the fastest time in Quali. in Monaco this year. To be the fastest driver of the field on the one of the toughest tracks, at his age, is astonishing :D
    Good luck, Michael, in last 6 races in f1! ;)

  49. I’ll give my 2 cents.
    Sure Schumacher is a great driver, his records speak for itself. But there’s no question most of his success depended on his car and the team working full throttle for him. I never really liked his behavior.
    Keith is right, the car is capable of winning. Let’s put that aside, by his supposed talent, he should perform way better than his teammate, and throughout these 3 years, he was outperformed most of the time. Maybe in 2010 Schumacher thought he was still able to be on top of the game, and it proved to be far from it. I believe that Hamilton will outperform Rosberg next year. In contrast to Shcumi, Kimi’s comeback is absolutely amazing. I never thought, even for a second, that Schumi is a better driver than Kimi, I’d be thrilled if Kimi could fight for the championship until the last race this year.

    1. Couldn’t say it better. I completely agree (except Hamilton part – I wouldn’t be surprised if Rosberg scores more points in 2013).

    2. But there’s no question most of his success depended on his car and the team working full throttle for him

      Every driver depends on his car for success, the only difference was that Ferrari were more interested in making him win than his teammate, dont forget that Rubens did win many races when he was Schumacher’s teammate, they even had a 1-2 win Rubens winning. Agreed that his second innings has not been a great one, but he deserves some respect for how he has kept up with the younger crowd at 43; putting this car on pole in a track like monaco is proof enough; I am not sure if any of these younger drivers will be as fit as him or be as competitive as him when they are 43. If people did not like him only because of his attitude, they have no reason to dislike him anymore, because he is not that arrogant guy he once was. Failure teaches people a lot of things and I am sure Michael has learnt from his second career. His achievements deserve respect and the least we could do is give him that!

  50. Its a bit sad to see him go like this. Although I’ve never really been a fan of him as such, but its impossible to not have a huge amount of respect for someone of his stature and calibre. Quite simply, the highest achiever ever of the sport, I’m sure most would have liked to see him depart on a high. But this was coming, it was all but given.

  51. I think the one who lost most with MS comeback is Nico Rosberg. Beat an old man comprehensively, and it’s expected. Get beaten by an old man and you are not a champion. At last with Lewis he will really have a benchmark (before MS, he hardly had anyone serious on the other side of the garage).

    1. “I think the one who lost most with MS comeback is Nico Rosberg. Beat an old man comprehensively, and it’s expected. Get beaten by an old man and you are not a champion.”

      I disagree entirely. Brawn had touted MS as 2010 WDC before he even turned a wheel at Merc. That couldn’t have been easy for NR to hear. Nobody expected NR to beat MS. Everyone had MS as needing only a handful of races to get back onto form. His age was ti be outweighed by his experience. And when that didn’t happen, rather than putting NR on a pedestal, most viewers made excuses for MS. His age, give him time, not a race winning car, front tires don’t suit his style etc etc.

      I think NR has only won in this, not only by never once showing any indication on or off track that he was intimidated by MS, but by outpointing a 7 time WDC 3 years running, including winning a race this year. NR has never been this good and with that win behind him it is only onward and upward, and he, like LH, like all potential WDC’s, only needs the car. I agree that LH will be a good benchmark, but so was MS. And NR did an amazing job with him as a teammate. And I think he may surprise people next year too.

  52. it’s pretty stupid to compare kimi with michael..how old is kimi?..michael dont need to win anything,he got plenty of it..and vs 1 win(u know who)..it’s nothing..

  53. His accomplishments will never be touched by anyone. He did more, has done more, and will be known for doing more in a Formula One car than any man has yet done. I am lucky to have seen it all. Thank you Michael Schumacher.

  54. Better early than much later, or should have been far better not coming back ‘cuz he could have kept some part of his achievements thru a thick veil.
    It’s truly amusing to hear some saying if he had been given a winning car he would have won some… So does that mean most of the others still can’t win if given a winning car? lol. BTW, I didn’t think he might have needed so many excusable words for this announcement. Why does he have to? Guess he still want to collect back some lost ground. When leaving belatedly, just leaving is enough then people will selectively remember his good moments and races, stats only to some, monaco quali with champion’s wall, very recent stupidity followed by lying etc.

  55. Although I never had hih hopes for Mercedes, with hindsight it’s easy to say his comeback was stupid. The truth is we did not know, and Michael accepted the risk because he was joining the team which launched him in 1989, as Brawn says. It would have been the perfect story for him, if only he hadn’t become the most successful F1 driver ever with another team. He was and always will be associated with Ferrari, that’s why many were somehow let down when he passed to a rival team to try and achieve further success and being remembered as a Mercedes driver, not a Ferrari one.
    These three years have been a disappointment. The results everyone hoped for didn’t come, and when this year the car was competitive he had all the bad luck he had avoided previously in his career. After a couple of the races the car became a midfielder, but in Monaco, where the performance gap is always narrowe, he went fastest of all in qualifying. Unfortunately a penalty robbed us of his long-awaited win, which despite being too little for someone like him could have meant so much more than three winless years. It has been nice to see this ace race again: true, he wasn’t on great form at the start, but he improved slowly and this year showed he is still very very fast. Some errors have highlited his aging though, therefore his retirement makes sense. I feel sorry because he wanted to retire having won a lot in these years, but for now he has a 3rd place as best result.
    When he retired at the end of 2006, coming 2nd in the title, recovering to 4th in his last race after dropping down to last with a flat tyre, he was still the best driver and retired at the peak of his success. I fear that many now will see his second retirement as a normal end to an old, mediocre driver’s career. He might have been mediocre in these years, but he simply has lost that sparkle inside him and he has passed to a car slower than his Ferraris. His results still count, he still achieved every single one of them. He hasn’t been able to improve them but we should see this as the best driver ever’s retirement, without separating his career into two.
    This is a sad moment for the sport which the last three years have made more and more easy by helping to forget his achievements, but we mustn’t forget them.
    Races: 302
    Podiums: 155
    Wins: 91
    Poles: 68
    Fastest laps: 77
    World drivers’ championships: 7
    Points: 1560
    Here’s hoping he can add to his tallies in the last races of this season. I’m happy with the fact the record for most races will remain to Barrichello, for now. I like to think Michael has done his old “friend” this favour.
    Goodbye, Schumi.

    1. *high
      Such an elaborate post and then I mess up my fifth word *facepalm*

  56. So it’s official then. This is very sad news for me. I used to be a die-hard Schumi fan but when he retired from the sport in 2006 no one could replace him for me, so I became a neutral f1 fan supporting every driver on the grid even the bad ones. I became very objective in my reasoning. That didn’t change in 2009 when announced his comeback to the sport but deep inside me I felt that old tingling feeling again. I will always have a weak spot for him and I really want him to do well in the next races, and there is hope because now he knows these are the final races he will do in his career. Things like that free up the mind and give someone 100% motivation. Remember the last time he announced his retirement?

    Thank you, Michael, for everything: it was, and is, a pleasure to watch you at work.

    1. very nice, i completely agree

  57. Lots of comments, so not sure if this has already been said:

    As a twenty-something, Michael Schumacher is the face of F1 to me. From the early nineties (the earliest races I can remember) to now, he’s always been there, and when he hasn’t, he’s still been in the news, or in the garages. He has had a bigger effect on my view of the sport than anyone I can think of, including Bernie, di Montezemolo, Ron Dennis, Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello…

    And looking back on his career now, I think I’ve grown up as he has. Those moments of madness with Hill and Villenueve, at the time, I utterly condemned. Would I have done that, in those situations? At the time I’d have said certainly not. Now… I’m not so sure I wouldn’t have. And whilst his dominance with Ferrari bored me at the time, now I have huge admiration for what was achieved, regardless of the circumstances. His arrogance has softened as my sympathy for him has grown (or perhaps vice versa).

    History might not be ever so kind to him, but he certainly demands respect for the page count required to document his incredible contribution to the narrative of the sport.

  58. Interesting that even McLaren preferred Perez over Schumacher; and Ferrari felt better off with Massa.

  59. This is said as a joke in many comments, but here it really does apply:

    Hamilton’s fault!

    1. @Estesark So true! (I’m not a Hamilton hater)

  60. At least there are now more chances that Gutierrez will take the Sauber seat. I hope it’ll happen but I doubt it.

  61. What a bloody shame :( It’s awful to hear him speak so bluntly. I reckon he would be a valuable asset to any team right now, his heart, head and talent are in the right place but unfortunately no one can rely on him long term, which he recognises.

    Thank you Michael. Mercedes need a race winning car next year but while it’s exciting that Hamilton will be driving for them, their eventual success will have come too late for Schumacher. No team has disappointed me more.

  62. I was never a fan – but it is pretty cool that my son, who is 9 and already a big F1 fan, knows Schumacher as part of ‘his’ F1 generation. I watched him at age 15 as part of mine. There aren’t too many sports people who you share that connection that way with your son. While I’m a die hard Senna fan, I’m sad that Schumacher didn’t do better this time round. I think he found his human side and was ultimately a more rounded and like able man for it.

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