Michael Schumacher has announced his retirement following the Italian Grand Prix this weekend. After the Brazilian Grand Prix next month, Michael will hang up his helmet for the final time and spend more time with his young family in his Swiss castle.
As Michael won the Italian Grand Prix for his beloved team and fans, he announced on the radio he would be retiring. The Ferrari team published a press statement confirming as such and Michael enjoyed a few moments to himself before personally congratulating the team as they lined the Parc Ferme. In an emotional scene on the podium, Michael conducted the tifosi who flooded onto track to enjoy their man’s success.
The post-race press conference allowed Michael the opportunity to explain his decision and to also apologise to his fans for delay in making the choice. Michael thanked all those who had supported him in over 30 years of motorsport, in particular he thanked his Father, his passed-away Mother and his wife and children. Michael also praised his current team mate Felipe Massa, and gave a very big hint that Ferrari would announce Kimi Raikkonen as his successor. [Edit: Now confirmed]. Michael said he knew of his replacement a while ago, and was very happy with the teams choice of driver.
Michael is usually an emotional man when it comes to making difficult announcements to the press, but he managed well during what must have been the climax to a 15 year Formula One career. Sitting on Michael’s right was the second placed driver in Monza – Kimi Raikkonen – who controlled himself well, considering that he must have been itching to jump up and down with joy. And I don’t think Robert Kubica will ever forget where he was Schumacher announced his retirement! Kubica finished in a magnificant third, and thus sat about two feet on Michael’s left.
The press release from the Ferrari team stated that Ferrari would announce later in the year Michael’s future role at the team, implying that the seven (possibly eight) times World Champion is not completely walking away from the sport. I predicted that Michael would take up an advisory role after his retirement from racing, and this is now looking more and more likely.