Michael Schumacher announced his retirement from Formula One for the second time and at the age of 43 on Thursday after failing to rekindle his old Ferrari magic in a disappointing comeback with Mercedes.
Schumacher’s first retirement came at the end of 2006, after he had won five titles in a row with Ferrari from 2000 and two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995.
Schumacher has been on the podium only once in his last three seasons, a third place in Valencia this year, and has retired from half of the 14 races so far in 2012. His last win was with Ferrari in China in 2006.
The veteran has also had some embarrassing crashes, including one in Singapore that had even loyal German followers questioning his eyesight and means he will have a 10-place penalty on the starting grid for Suzuka.
Schumacher, his voice occasionally cracking slightly with emotion as he spoke in front of a crescent of television cameras, said he now wanted to enjoy his last six races.
“It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goals… but it is also very clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in the whole time of my career.”
Schumacher, who was restless and searching for a role after retiring from Ferrari and did not say what he might now do after leaving Mercedes, said he had learned a lot about himself in the past six years.