Seven-time Formula One world champion Michel Schumacher announced Thursday his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2012 season during a press conference at the Suzuka circuit in Japan.
“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. This is something that makes me proud, and this is part of why I never regretted my comeback,” Michael Schumacher said, adding that “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.”
According to Schumacher, “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.”
Schumacher said at the end of 2009 that he wanted to be measured by my success, “and this is why I had a lot of criticism in the past three years which partly was justified. It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goal to develop a world championship fighting car within those 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,” Schumacher said, adding that “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.”