All sevens for Schumacher on F1 farewell

SAO PAULO Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:23am IST

Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany gestures during a photo call before the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany gestures during a photo call before the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

Related Topics

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Michael Schumacher said farewell to Formula One with a battling seventh place for Mercedes at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday before an embrace for newly-crowned triple champion Sebastian Vettel.

By a remarkable coincidence, seventh was where he qualified in his first grand prix back in Belgium in 1991 for the now defunct Jordan team 308 races ago. The seven times champion also had the number seven on his car at Interlagos.

After a stellar 21-year career, the most successful by any Formula One driver with his record 91 wins, Schumacher recognised his time was up at the age of 43.

His army of fans made clear they will miss the former Ferrari great all the same.

"On 25 Nov 2012, last day of the golden age of F1," declared one banner in the grandstand overlooking the main Interlagos straight.

"Michael, F1 is nothing without you" and "Michael, we love you," said others.

The former Ferrari great started in 13th place but, despite an early puncture and four pitstops, made the most of wet and chaotic conditions to end a run of six races without a point.

"We're not really in a position to offer a lot of fireworks in this last race although I wish to do," he had said, standing next to Red Bull's champion Vettel on a truck as they went around the circuit for the pre-race drivers' parade.

He did himself justice anyway, with a performance that showed some of his old 'never-say-die' philosophy as well as solid overtaking and ability to keep the car on the slippery asphalt.

"It's been a pleasure to come back," said the sport's most successful driver, who won his titles and 91 races with Benetton and Ferrari before returning with Mercedes.

"I enjoyed most of it. It wasn't as successful as we wanted it to be but still I learned a lot for life and I'm quite glad for the good emotions again. Now is a good time to go..."

Schumacher retired for the first time in Brazil in 2006 and came back in 2010.

With Mercedes he has just one podium finish to his credit, at the European Grand Prix in Valencia this season.

"My final Formula One race was tremendous fun," he said as team members donned Schumacher farewell T-shirts post-race. "I would once again like to thank the team and all my fans for their support over the past years.

"I've enjoyed the time we've spent together very much indeed."

Team principal Ross Brawn, who masterminded his titles at Benetton and Ferrari, repaid the compliment.

"In terms of results, his second spell in Formula One hasn't been as special but it has been so for all of us who have had the pleasure of working with him," said the Briton.

(Editing by Alison Wildey and Greg Stutchbury)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SOCCER

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Santos joins FC Goa

Santos joins FC Goa

Former Brazil defender Santos joins Pires at FC Goa.  Full Article 

Euro Qualifiers

Euro Qualifiers

Norway call up 15-year-old Odegaard for Euro qualifiers.  Full Article 

Johnson Recalls

Johnson Recalls

Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson still remembers English taunts.  Full Article 

Philander in Squad

Philander in Squad

South Africa name Vernon Philander in ODI tour squad.  Full Article 

Asian Games

Asian Games

Gulf states strike athletics gold, North stun South.  Full Article | Related Story 

New Ambassador

New Ambassador

Li named ambassador for WTA Finals in Singapore.  Full Article 

Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup

Ruthless Europe retain iron grip on Ryder Cup.  Full Article 

Title Contenders

Title Contenders

Hazard warning for Chelsea's Champions League rivals.  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Holders Real Madrid forewarned by Liverpool's struggle.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage