Michael Schumacher today announced that would retire from F1 for a second time. Schumacher will race for until the end of the 2012 season but will not contest a seat for 2013.
His retirement comes after Lewis Hamilton was confirmed as his replacement for the 2013 season at Mercedes. Schumacher admitted that his lack of motivation to continue in the sport was the reason behind the decision.
Despite having earlier this week said that his motivation was still intact many people expected that at some point Schumacher would announce he was set to retire. Having come out of retirement to return to the sport in 2010 with Mercedes Schumacher has struggled to produce the results of his previous F1 career, only managing one podium and one pole position which did not stand due a to gird penalty.
Schumacher admitted that the criticism that he had faced in the last three years was justified considering his performance. It is fair to say that Schumacher’s second foray into F1 would always be compared with the seven championships he won previously. His three year return has neither lived up to his or the fans expectations. However many people expected the Mercedes car to be contending for championships after Brawn’s success but this was not the case.
Despite Schumacher saying that he is still able to compete with the best drivers in the world some of his racing decisions this season have been questionable. His crash in Singapore where he seemed to just drive into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne following the first safety car restart demonstrates that maybe this is the right time for Schumacher to return to retirement.
His immense contribution to the sport cannot be denied and the seven world championships he has won will be a difficult to feat to replicate. However you are only as good as your last race in F1 and Schumacher’s return did not live up to anyone’s expectations.