M. Schumacher retires from Formula 1

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It's official, Michael Schumacher is retiring from Formula 1 race driving at the end of the current season.

The official press release states that Michael Schumacher's new role will be announced at the end of the season, indicating that he will have a role in the Ferrari team for next season at least.

McLaren's Kimi Riakkonen is expected to replace Michael at Ferrari next season.

Schumacher burst onto the F1 scene as a 22-year-old in 1991, qualifying seventh on his debut with Jordan at Spa.

His instant pace, and the awesome confidence with which he tackled F1’s most daunting circuit, immediately marked him out as a star of the future.

A year later at the same circuit, and now driving for Benetton, Schumacher scored his maiden grand prix win.

His partnership with the Enstone-based squad yielded back-to-back world championships in 1994 and 1995 despite what was generally acknowledged as a car disadvantage to Williams rival Damon Hill.

But the manner in which he won the ’94 title – unceremoniously turfing Hill off the track after making an error at the previous corner – set the tone for a career that would be dogged by controversy and question marks over his sportsmanship.

Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 and brought with him the tight-knit nucleus of key figures including Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne with whom he had formed a close relationship at Benetton.

The car was initially a long way off the pace but Schumacher is credited with galvanising the Maranello team’s revival and subsequent period of dominance over the next decade.

The German’s five successive world titles from 2000 to 2004 ripped up the F1 record books; he eclipsed Juan Manuel Fangio’s long-standing mark of five titles in 2003 and set a new record of 13 wins in a single season in ’04.

By the end of that year Schumacher towered above all rivals in the pantheon of the sport in statistical terms.

But the rise of a generation of young stars – principally Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen – showed that even his seemingly immortal career would have a shelf-life.

After Raikkonen came close in 2003, Alonso finally dethroned Schumacher in ’05, an event that proved the catalyst for a maelstrom of media speculation about the date of his retirement.

The 2006 season has encapsulated the flawed nature of Schumacher’s genius.

On the one hand, he has demonstrated undiminished speed, skill and above all desire to win.

But that same all-or-nothing attitude saw him roundly condemned by F1 stars past and present after he was found to have intentionally parked his car during qualifying in Monaco to protect his pole position.

But, love him or loathe him, the statistics – and the countless stupendous drives over 16 years – testify to Schumacher’s other-worldly talent for racing drivers.

Edited by Paul
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As expected really. There is no doubting Michael's credidential's as a driver, I just wish we could of seen Ayrton Senna v Michael Schumacher. Michael is a good driver, but I doubt he would of racked up as many win's and Championship's if Senna was not tragically killed.

It will be strange to watch the sport without him though.

Edited by Martyn
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Its a shame he's leaving, but its better to quit whiel he's ahead so people will always remember him as on of the greatest ever F1 drivers. If he keeps on racing, he'll just end up like David Coulthard.

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I won't miss him at all. He can drive a car quick for sure, but in my personal opinion, he has only won championships by cheating and/or having the outright fastest car. Which is a shame, because it is obvious that he could win a championship in great style when you look at individual races.

As mentioned above, if Senna was still alive I think we would be saying "Michael Whomacher?".

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thank god is has gone frankly i found him to be a total idiot

if he didnt win he sulked and in Monte Carlo he parked in the track wtf

he wont me missed in my book

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For all his (apparent) faults, he's still the greatest F1 Driver in History, that counts for a lot.

Statistically he is the most successful, but he has been in Formula 1 for more than fifteen year's now. You can't forget the fact that the opposition he has faced has not been the most challenging, not like in the Senna, Prost, Mansell era anyway. For most of his Championship's he has taken, he has had the fastest car, like in the season where Ferrari won 15 of the 17 races, how could he not win the Championship?

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To be fair Martyn, you cannot base it all on if's and but's. He's won, he's the best and that is it. You know I am not a fan of him, but as with anything, he has achived it, and you can never take that away from him

Official Statement from Ferrari

Michael Schumacher will retire from race driving at the end of the 2006 World Championship.

Whatever the final result of this year's championship, Michael leaves Formula One holding almost all the records. To date, he has taken seven drivers' world titles and has contributed to the same number of team wins in the constructors' championship.

He has taken part in 247 Formula One Grands Prix (178 of them at the wheel of a Ferrari,) won 90 (71,) been on pole 68 (58) times, setting 75 (52) fastest race laps. He has amassed a total of 1354 points, 1051 of them in a Maranello car. No one in the world of motor racing has done better.

Following his decision, the only record that will elude him is the one for the number of race starts. He will be able to reach the 250 mark, just six short of the record held by Riccardo Patrese.

Schumacher has been with Scuderia Ferrari for eleven seasons, a demonstration of loyalty without equal in Formula One, to date securing five of his Drivers' titles here and contributing to six of the team's Constructors' titles.

No other driver has ever won as much with the Scuderia.

"I had always said that the decision to retire would be his alone, but now that decision has been taken, I feel a sense of sadness," commented Ferrari President and CEO, Luca di Montezemolo.

"We have lived through some unforgettable times together, some good some bad, achieving results that will be hard to equal.

"To Michael goes the thanks of everyone in the company and supporters of Ferrari for all the dedication he has shown to our colours, for the determination and courage with which he has worked, which has provided immense satisfaction. He is both sincere and passionate and has earned the affection of all of us and of our fans.

"His relationship with Maranello will continue, albeit in a different form and I am very happy about that."

"Michael has been the author of a unique chapter in the history of Formula One and of Ferrari in particular. It has yet to reach its conclusion and what he has achieved extends over and above the results obtained," added Managing Director, Jean Todt.

"He is an exceptional man and will become a legend as a driver. For me personally, he is a great friend and together we have lived through unrepeatable experiences. Having had the opportunity to work alongside him has been and will continue to be a privilege."

"Words are not enough and whatever I could say now will never fully express how much I love this fascinating world of motor sport and all it has given me," said Michael Schumacher.

"From go-karting to Formula One, I have lived through moments that I will never forget. I am profoundly grateful for everything I have had.

"I want to thank everyone who has accompanied me, supported and inspired me, right back to the days of my childhood. Above all, a special thanks goes to Corinna and our two children, who have given me the strength to do what I have done. All these years in Formula One have been amazing, especially those spent alongside my friends in the Scuderia.

"Soon my future will belong to my family, while I am happy to be still part of Ferrari. But for now, what matters is this world championship."

At the end of the year, as is traditional, we will announce the new team organisation, which will also include a definition of Michael's new role.

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To be fair Martyn, you cannot base it all on if's and but's. He's won, he's the best and that is it. You know I am not a fan of him, but as with anything, he has achived it, and you can never take that away from him

I know, but like I say I just feel a sense of sadness that we could not compare him to the true great's like Prost, Senna and Mansell, that would show us the true measure of the man. He has a achieved a lot, I just feel like he has had an easy time of it.

Statistically he is the best driver to ever grace the wonderful world of Formula 1, but in mine and many other people's eye's we have seen many better drivers down the years.

I am glad he is gone, but because in the last fifteen year's we have gone through a huge transition period of Formula 1, during Schumacher's dominance, it will be interesting to see how Formula 1 as a whole copes without him. As Formula 1 is defined by Michael Schumacher for other people.

I always thought that when Schumacher goes, we will see a brand new era for the sport.

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I always thought that when Schumacher goes, we will see a brand new era for the sport.

There are plenty of great drivers to watch now that Schumacher has gone; Raikkonen, Alonso, Kubica, Button (if Honda ever produce a championship capable car), Nelson Piquet Jr (if he comes to F1, which I think he will), Lewis Hamilton, Gary Paffett, Heikki Kovalainen (sp?), Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg.

I think we will have some good battles between that lot, providing we have some nice equal level cars.

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When Kimi joins Ferrari next season, he'll become the next icon of Formula One.

Anyway, is Valentino Rossi from MotoGP going to join F1?

Nope. Rossi isn't going to join.

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One could sense from the body language of Michael and Jean Todt. And Luca di Montezemolo's eyes said it all. Its sad to see him leave, but that eventually had to happen someday or the other. And what better way to retire than to win the championship. Even if he doesn't win the championship, still the statistics in sandy's post says it all. He has achieved nearly all the stats achieveable. He has been a great driver and a gentlemen. Even the controversies cannot overshadow his achievements and this span of 16 year career. Michael Schumacher will be a name in the history of Formula One, who has been a leading figure in Formula One. No driver has ever had a support like this from tifosi. Even the McLaren, Renault and even the Anti-Schumi/Ferrari people would have to pay some respect to the driver who has really made the sport his.

Farewell Michael. Good wishes. And its good to know that you will continue your relationship with Ferrari. These 3 races will be his last, and we wish Michael goodluck, and hope he wins all the three and take the drivers' title.

We will miss you Michael! :(

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Well he will still be part of the team

At the end of the year, as is traditional, we will announce the new team organisation, which will also include a definition of Michael's new role.

So i don't think he will be going to any other team in any other postion.

It's just a shame that Ferrari couldn't get Alonso as well to go with Kimi. But Massa has come on leaps and bounds so i think he will have a good season next year.

But i do fear slighty for Alonso going to Mclaren, the car is great it's just that stupid little things can stop them. Mclaren is one of my fav teams.

We will also see that duch company take over Midland F1 now. Again it may sound great but so many teams come in and struggle which is sad really. But i've heard something about them using a Ferrari engine, which would be worth while with this engine freeze.

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F1 is not the same today.

The last race i saw was that one in USA when most of the drivers didnt race and Ferrari did that trick to try to arrive together. :x

I never watched F1 again.

Lucky those whom,like me, could see live the battles between A. Senna, A. Prost, N. Piquet and N. Mansel.

That was F1.

Still, Schumacher was a good driver too.


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