Michael Schumacher announced in Suzuka today, he will stop his F1 career at the end of the season.
Following Mercedes AMG's decision to replace him for 2013 with Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher explained in Japan: "If [anything] at all, it is relief. We had a three-year agreement and already it was hard work for me to keep the motivation and keep the energy and always go forward.
|Michael Schumacher (Photo: Mercedes AMG)
"With all that I have achieved, it is natural that you think about it a little bit more than maybe being young. So in a way how things have developed, I am actually very pleased.
"I have always been informed by the team, so I knew what was going on and I am quite happy that things have developed in this direction and I am free to get back the freedom I had before."
Schumacher added: "I told you at the time in 2006 that my battery was empty, and I am (now) on the red zone with my batteries. I was not sure if I could recharge them with the time we have available or not, and I felt it is time for freedom again."
Schumacher was unsure of his desires, but the commitment of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes last week convinced him.
"The special moment in a way was obviously that the team found an option with Lewis that sort of helped me find that decision. Obviously there was an option for me to do so at an earlier stage and I was in the picture when there was the negotiation going on, but I didn't want to decide. I wasn't sure about myself, so it is like this. Sometimes in life your destiny will develop by itself and so it did. But without any hard feelings and without any regrets."
Until now, Michael Schumacher scored 91 victories, 68 pole positions and 155 podiums.