Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has confirmed he will retire for good at the end of current Formula One season. Here is his complete statement:
"I have decided to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, although I am still able to compete with the best drivers of the world. This is something that makes me proud, and this is part of why I never regretted my Comeback. I can be happy with my performance and the fact that I was continuously raising my game during the last three years. But then, at some point it is time to say Good-Bye.
Already during the past weeks and months I was not sure if I would still have the motivation and energy which is necessary to go on; and it is not my style to do anything which I am not 100% convinced about. With today's decision I feel released from those doubts. In the end, it is not my ambition to just drive around but to fight for victories; and the pleasure of driving is nourished by competitiveness.
I have said at the end of 2009 that I want to be measured by my success, and this is why I had a lot of criticism in the past 3 years which partly was justified. It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goal to develop a world championship fighting car within those 3 years. It is also without doubt that I cannot provide a long term perspective to anyone. But then it is also clear that I can still be very happy about my overall achievements in Formula 1.
In the past 6 years I have learned a lot, also about me, and I am thankful for it: for example, that you can open yourself up without losing focus. That losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning; something I had lost out of sight sometimes in earlier years. That you have to appreciate to be able to do what you love. That you have to live your convictions. I have opened my horizon, and I am at ease with myself.
I would like to thank Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and the Team for their trust. But I also would like to thank all my friends, partners and companions, who over many good years in motorsport supported me. But most of all I would like to thank my family for standing always by my side, giving me the freedom to live my convictions and sharing my joy."