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Schumacher confirms he will retire this year
Thursday 04th October 2012, 12:02 by Ryan Wood
© Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Michael Schumacher has confirmed he will retire from Formula One at the end of the current season, he announced in Suzuka on Thursday.
The 43-year-old will be replaced at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton, prompting speculation he could move to another team, namely Sauber, but the seven-time world champion has called it quits for a second time.
"It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goals to develop a world championship fighting car," he said of his time at Mercedes. "But it is also very clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in the whole time of my career.
"In the past six years I have learned a lot about myself. For example, that you can open yourself without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning.
"Sometimes I lost sight of this in the early years. But you appreciate to be able to do what you love to do. That you should live your convictions and I was able to do so.
"I would obviously like to thank Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, the team, the engineers, and all my mechanics for all the trust that they put in those years in to myself. But I would also like to thank all of my friends, partners and companions who over many years in motor sport supported myself."
Schumacher doubts whether he had the motivation to continue racing after a lacklustre comeback.
"I have had my doubts for quite a while whether I had the energy to [carry on]. I said in 2006 my battery was empty and now I am in the red zone. I don't know if there is time to recharge them - but I am looking forward to my freedom.
"I have no hard feelings. In a different way we achieved a great deal...
"Now I will do exactly as I did the first time - to finish and focus 100 per cent on what I do."