After last week’s announcement that Lewis Hamilton was moving to the Mercedes AMG Petronas
team to partner with Nico Rosberg, it was clear that Michael Schumacher’s future plans didn’t involve racing F1 cars for Mercedes.
Today, Schumacher has made it official, announcing his second retirement from the sport at the end of the 2012 season. In a press conference from the Suzuka circuit (site of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix), the seven-time world champion claimed that he was happy with his performance, but that it was time to say goodbye.
Admitting that he questioned his motivation and energy over the past few months, Schumacher made it clear that it wasn’t his style to give less than 100-percent to any endeavor.
Regretting that he was unable to help Mercedes develop a championship car over the past three years
, Schumacher seemed to accept criticism on his overall performance with the team and in the sport.
Saying that he “cannot provide a long-term perspective to anyone,” Schumacher seemed to leave the door open to future involvement in motorsports. While his days as a Formula One driver are over, there are plenty of series that would welcome the German star with open arms.
There will also be opportunities for non-driving roles within the sport, and we’re fairly certain that Mercedes-Benz will keep Schumacher on its payroll as a brand ambassador. In other words, don’t expect Schumacher to fall off the radar just yet.