Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 5 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions

Q & A with Willi Weber

Q. How did Michael and you decide on the announcement?

Willi Weber - Michael Schumacher's manager: To make a decision you must be clear and this takes some time. The first decision to take is 'should I stop or should I continue?'. There are many little points that you see yourself. The decision to stop was only by Michael.

What I told him was that when you win the eighth title it is better we stop because this is the maximum you can achieve. With so many wins and so many titles and you leave F1, yes you leave F1 not as a king, more than a king.

You are the absolute hero. I think nobody else will achieve what he did - eight titles, I say eight at the moment but it is seven and a half, and so many wins. It is a sensation. It is a phenomenon and I think nobody else will achieve it.

Q. Will you continue?

WW: It is not clear yet. I go with Michael, we will have a little break, time out, we will stay together with Ferrari in different things. We don't know exactly what the position will be that we do, but we stay with Ferrari and Michael will need always a manager, a driver like him the world's best driver.

We have many things to do, we have many sponsors we need to carry on and maybe I come back with a young German driver. I don't know yet.

Q. Was it a relief for Michael that he made the decision?

WW: I am not clear on this position. We just talked. It is a decision that is not like changing only your haircut. It is a decision changing your whole life and it is very full with emotion. So when we spoke, by the time he had some months and weeks to get clear what he really wants and at the end of the day it was to stop at the end of 2006, and I think the decision was absolutely okay.

Q. What was for/against?

WW: We have not spoken against F1. This was not the point. We just say continue on or stop, that was all.

Q. Why?

WW: Maybe to drive at a level like Michael did for this many years takes a lot of power and energy and maybe he feels he doesn't have the 100 percent that F1 needs from you to make a perfect job that Michael used to do.

Maybe it is 1 percent less and many little things come together. He loved what he was doing, we all know this, otherwise you cannot achieve so many wins or points, but some time you must say yes or no to stop. This is era Schumacher finito.

Q. Was Michael happy to make the announcement here?

WW: You never find the right time to make an announcement like this, so I think it was okay.

Q. So did he not want to make it?

WW: To be honest, maybe I would say now we should not speak at all and drive the season. The last four days I don't know what I am doing here, I just had answers on what he is doing and nobody think we drive a race here. He drove a fantastic race, he won the race and we are near now to the championship. This is completely gone and that is a pity.

Daytona Competition
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Italy shows gratitude to Schumacher
Weber: announcement overshadowed race
F1 pays tribute to Schumacher
Schumacher decided to quit in July
Q & A with Michael Schumacher
Schumacher: a very difficult decision
Michael Schumacher, a controversial great
The full statement from Ferrari
Ferrari confirm: Schumacher is retiring