SUZUKA, Japan — Seven-time Formula One world driving champion Michael Schumacher is retiring for a second time.
Schumacher will finish the season with Mercedes and then leave the sport for what he says will be the final time. After a three-season sabbatical, Schumacher returned to the series in 2010.
“I have decided to retire from Formula One at the end of the season, although I am still able to compete with the best drivers of the world,” Schumacher said. “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 goodbye.
“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 percent 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 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 three 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 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 One.”
Schumacher won the world championship in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He earned 91 Formula One victories, but is winless since his return in 2010.