Praises pour in for Schumacher

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Michael Schumacher was called a legend by figures within Formula One on Sunday after he announced his retirement.

Praises pour in for Schumacher

Monza, Italy:

Michael Schumacher was called a legend by figures within Formula One on Sunday after he announced his retirement."He will become a legend as a driver," Ferrari director Jean Todt said. "Michael has been the author of a unique chapter in the history of Formula One."The seven-time world champion, who drives for Ferrari, said after winning the Italian Grand Prix that he will leave the sport at the end of the season. It was his 90th Formula One victory."You have to recognise he's been a great champion," Red Bull driver David Coulthard said. "It's the end of an era."It was a fitting way for him to announce it with a victory," Coulthard added.Schumacher's younger brother Ralf, who is also a Formula One driver, said he had enjoyed racing with his brother."I've enjoyed racing with him and I wish him all the best both for the championship and for the future," Ralf Schumacher said.Michael Schumacher trails defending champion Fernando Alonso by two points in the series with three races to go."It is a pity for Formula One to lose such a great champion," Toro Rosso boss Gerhard Berger said. "But the time to stop comes to everyone."Mario Theissen, motor sports chief at BMW, said it was a "dramatic end of a dramatic and equally successful career.""I am pretty sure it's a final decision," Theissen said.Norbert Haug, Theissen's counterpart at Mercedes, wasn't so sure."Rumors will start as soon as tomorrow about when he's going to come back," Haug said. "I am a little bit sad, actually. What he achieved was surely extraordinary."In Germany, Schumacher was praised as one of the greatest sports personalities of his era."One of the greatest sporting careers is ending," said Thomas Bach, Germany's top sports official and a vice president of the IOC. "His achievements go beyond Formula One and sport itself."Franz Beckenbauer, the former soccer star and Germany's most popular sports personality, said Schumacher's retirement was a "pity"."It's always too bad when such a great personality steps down," he said.Helmut Digel, a vice president of the IAAF, said Schumacher made a "smart decision.""When you retire too late, you damage your reputation. Michael Schumacher quit when he is still world class. You can only wish that all athletes made such decisions," Digel said. (AP)



Topics : Formula 1 Michael Schumacher
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