Αυτό ήταν, ο Michael Schumacher, ανακοίνωσε σήμερα στη Suzuka, ότι αποχωρεί οριστικά από την ενεργό δράση ως οδηγός της Formula 1, στο τέλος της χρόνιας. Ο Γερμανός διοργάνωσε συνέντευξη τύπου σήμερα στην Ιαπωνία και μαζί με τον Ross Brawn ανακοίνωσε την απόφαση του να κρεμάσει τα γάντια του για δεύτερη φορά, αυτή τη φορά οριστικά.

Μετά τη μεταγραφή του Lewis Hamilton στην Mercedes, οι φήμες φούντωναν σχετικά με το μέλλον του Γερμανού 7 φορές παγκόσμιου πρωταθλητή, με μερικές ανέφεραν ότι ίσως μετακινηθεί στην Sauber. Ο ίδιος, θέλησε να δώσει ένα τέλος σε όλη αυτή τη παραφιλολογία ανακοινώνοντας την αποχώρηση του.

Ο Schumacher δήλωσε:

Έχω αποφασίσει να αποσυρθώ από την Formula 1 στο τέλος της σεζόν, αν και είμαι ακόμη σε θέση να ανταγωνιστώ με τους καλύτερους οδηγούς του κόσμου. Αυτό είναι κάτι που με κάνει περήφανο και αυτό είναι μέρος του γιατί ποτέ δεν εξέφρασα λύπη για την επιστροφή μου.

Μπορώ να είναι χαρούμενος με την απόδοση μου και βελτιωνόμουν σε κάθε αγώνα κατά τη διάρκεια των τριών τελευταίων ετών. Ωστόσο, κάποια στιγμή πρέπει να πεις αντίο.

Το σκεφτόμουν εδώ κατά τη διάρκεια των τελευταίων εβδομάδων και μηνών και δεν ήμουν σίγουρος αν εξακολουθούσα να έχω το κίνητρο και την ενέργεια που είναι απαραίτητη για να συνεχίσω. Δεν είναι του στυλ μου να κάνω κάτι αν δεν είmαι 100% σίγουρος γι’αυτό. Με τη σημερινή απόφαση αισθάνομαι ότι απελευθερώνομαι από αυτές τις αμφιβολίες.

Δική μου φιλοδοξία δεν είναι απλώς να οδηγώ στην Formula 1, αλλά να παλεύω για νίκες. Και η απόλαυση της οδήγησης τρέφεται με την ανταγωνιστικότητα.

Δεν πετύχαμε τους στόχους μας αλλά είμαι χαρούμενος με τα επιτεύγματα της καριέρας μου. Θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω την Daimler, την Mercedes, την ομάδα και τους μηχανικούς για την εμπιστοσύνη που μου έδειξαν. Τώρα θέλω να συγκεντρωθώ στο υπόλοιπο της χρονιάς και να ευχαριστηθώ τους αγώνες.

Στο βιογραφικό του Schumacher μετά από 21 χρόνια στο χώρο, υπάρχουν 3 ομάδες (Benetton, Ferrari και Mercedes), 7 Παγκόσμια Πρωταθλήματα, 308 συμμετοχές σε GP, 91 νίκες, 155 βάθρα, 77 ταχύτερους γύρους και 68 pole position. Δικαίως θεωρείτε ο πιο πετυχημένος οδηγός της F1 όλων των εποχών. Περισσότερες δηλώσεις μπορείς να βρεις στο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί.

[Πηγή: Μichael Schumacher, Mercedes-GP]

Δελτίο Τύπου

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM FORMULA ONE

Seven-time Formula One world champion Michel Schumacher today announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2012 season during a press conference at the Suzuka circuit in Japan.

Michael Schumacher

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. 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.

I said at the end of 2009 that I want 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.

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.

Nico Rosberg

This is a big loss for our sport. Michael did a huge amount to make Formula One so popular in Germany, and lots of fans switched on their TV sets because of him. He achieved so much. It has been and continues to be something special and a great experience for me to drive with him and against him. In the last three years we pushed the team hard together which will help us in the years to come. I wish him all the best for the future.

Ross Brawn, Team Principal – MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

Having worked with Michael for so many years, it is an emotional day today as he announces his retirement from Formula One for the second, and final, time. 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 closely. 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.

Norbert Haug, Vice President – Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

Our team, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Michael for all his work, his exemplary commitment and his loyalty. For our brand, he was and remains not just a first-class racing driver and, through his record until 2006, the most successful of all time; but also a global idol and, last but not least, a great company ambassador who is admired across the world. 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.

Michael to leave Formula 1

Retirement at the end of the season – ”I am at ease with myself”

“I have decided to retire from Formula 1 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 Comback. 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 Good-Bye.

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.

I have said at the end of 2009 that I want to be measured by my success, and this is why I had a lot of critizism in the past 3 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 3 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 1.

In the past 6 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.”