End of the road for legend Schumacher as German announces retirement… again!
08:28 GMT, 4 October 2012
Michael Schumacher will retire from Formula One for the second time at the end of the season.
Schumacher's seat at Mercedes will be taken by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in 2013, and with a dearth of other options available to him he has opted to quit the sport at the age of 43.
He said: 'I have decided to retire at the end of the season. I still feel I am capable of competing against the best but the time sometimes comes to say goodbye and this time it might be forever.'
Putting the brakes on: Michael Schumacher will retire at the end of the season
He added: 'I had been thinking about
whether I had the necessary motivation to carry on but I do not want to
do something I am not 100 per cent committed to. Having made the
decision I now feel a release.'
Schumacher's first stint in F1,
between 1991 and 2006 saw him rewrite the sport's record books, winning
seven world titles and 91 races.
He will be best remembered for
helping to revive Ferrari's fortunes after joining the Prancing Horse in
1996 as part of the 'Dream Team' along with Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, Rory
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Glamour: The seven-time world champion will go down in F1 history
He retired at the end of 2006, but was convinced to make a comeback with the Mercedes team in 2010 by close friend Brawn.
However, his return to the sport he
once ruled has not been a success and he has taken just one podium
finish over the last three seasons, that result coming at Valencia
earlier this year.
There had been suggestions Schumacher
would join Sauber, for whom he raced sportscars in the late 1980s and
early 1990s, in 2013, but he has instead opted to stop racing.
Celebrity status: Schumacher is a regular on the charity event scene
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER FACTFILE
Smooth: Michael Schumacher
1969: Born on January 3 in Huerth-Hermuelheim, Germany.
1973: Makes his racing debut in a karting event.
1987: Wins German and European kart championships.
1988: Finishes fourth in German Formula Ford championship and is second in the European series in his first year of car racing.
1990: Wins first major single-seater title, clinching the German Formula Three crown. Steps up to sportscars, driving for Mercedes.
1991: Makes Formula One debut for Jordan in Belgium, qualifying seventh before retiring. Poached by Benetton for the rest of the season.
1992: Takes first grand prix win in Belgium on his way to third in the championship.
1994: Wins title, with eight wins to his name, after controversial last-race clash with Damon Hill in Australia.
1995: Retains world crown, taking nine victories.
1996: Moves to struggling Ferrari and manages three wins on his way to third in the championship.
1997: Wins five races but is stripped of second in the championship for attempting to take out title rival Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez.
1999: Breaks his leg at Silverstone when easily leading the championship.
2000: Finally wins Ferrari's first drivers' title since 1979, amassing nine wins on the way.
Golden era: Schumacher enjoyed some ding-dong battles with British driver Damon Hill
2001: Another nine wins and another title, setting a new record for all-time victories.
2002: Wins championship in record time, setting a new mark of 11 victories.
2003: Wins title by a point after six victories, breaking Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five championships.
2004: Breaks his own record for wins in a season, 13, to take title number seven.
September 10 – Announces his retirement at end of 2006 season after winning Italian Grand Prix.
July 29 – Announces plans to make a shock return to F1 with Ferrari, deputising for Felipe Massa until the Brazilian recovers from injuries suffered in an accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Just champion: The German bought the glory days back to Ferrari
August 11 – Forced to abort comeback due to a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident in February.
December 23 – Signs a three-year contract to drive for Mercedes GP, ending three years in retirement.
2010: Makes his return to F1 in Bahrain and finishes the season in ninth, with a highest finish of fourth.
2011: Betters his previous season with an eighth-placed finish and 96 points, with a fourth in Canada his best result.
2012: Returns to the podium for the first time since his retirement, finishing third in the European grand prix.
October 4: Announces he will be retiring from the sport at the end of the season.