Schumacher 'absolutely focused' on title
|By Pablo Elizalde||Tuesday, September 12th 2006, 11:57 GMT|
Michael Schumacher says he remains completely focused on winning this year's title despite announcing his retirement at the end of the season.
The Ferrari driver scored a crucial win at Sunday's Italian Grand Prix to reduce the gap to championship rival Fernando Alonso to just two points following the Renault driver's exit from the race.
Schumacher says his decision to retire will not be a distraction in the final three races of the season.
"I don't want to think about what happened before or what will happen after at this time," said Schumacher on his website.
"I'm absolutely focused on the championship: there are three races left and we want to make use of them. We have almost closed the gap, we are even ahead of Renault in the constructors' championship.
"Both titles are there for the taking. From now on, the only thing that counts is the championship title, everything else will have to wait."
The German driver admitted he was happy to announce his decision at Monza, especially after having scored such an important victory.
"It was an amazing day," he said. "But it was just right this way and I'm thankful that I got to announce my leaving F1 just after securing a win. I know there has been a lot of speculation about the timing of the announcement, but for me it was just right.
"Ferrari have been incredibly gracious and left it all up to me to say when. After we had decided on Monza, I was a little unsure while we were in Istanbul if I would not rather just wait until the end of the year.
"But while testing at Monza, when Jean asked me what I would prefer to do, I decided on telling everyone Sunday after the Monza race once again - I wanted to be able to focus on the race before. And I feel very well rested today."
Schumacher, at 37 the oldest driver on the grid, believes his decision to retire while still on top is the right one for him.
"I'm not getting any younger and I had to ask myself if I would be able to gear up the energy, the strength and the motivation that you must have in order to be able to compete at the top," he added.
"Of course I'm still fit, of course I'm still competitive, but would I be for a few more years? Just being a mediocre driver has never been my ambition. That's not my style."