Michael Schumacher announces second F1 retirement

2012 F1 season

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2012Michael 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”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2012Schumacher 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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152 comments on Michael Schumacher announces second F1 retirement

  1. Yoshisune (@yobo01) said on 4th October 2012, 9:15

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

  2. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 4th October 2012, 9:17

    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.

  3. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 4th October 2012, 9:19

    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.

  4. JP (@jp1987) said on 4th October 2012, 9:22

    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

  5. Trido (@trido) said on 4th October 2012, 9:25

    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.

  6. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 4th October 2012, 9:28

    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!

  7. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 4th October 2012, 9:29

    PS We’ll miss you Schumi!

  8. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 4th October 2012, 9:38

    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.

  9. antonyob (@) said on 4th October 2012, 9:38

    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.

  10. romeo said on 4th October 2012, 9:40

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

  11. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 4th October 2012, 9:41


    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.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 4th October 2012, 14:45

      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.

  12. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 4th October 2012, 9:44

    And stay out! Get a hobby or something….

    (I jest)

  13. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 4th October 2012, 9:53

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

  14. 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 (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/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!!!

  15. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 4th October 2012, 10:42

    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.

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