Schumacher: a very difficult decision

Michael Schumacher says his decision to retire from Formula One at the end of the season has been very tough to make

Schumacher: a very difficult decision

Ferrari announced the German's decision just minutes after Schumacher won his final Italian Grand Prix.

The German has won an unprecedented seven titles during a career which has seen him set a long list of records, including most wins, pole positions, podium finishes, fastest laps and wins in a season.

Today's victory was the 90th of his career.

"It has been a very special day and to finish it in this style as we have been doing today looking at the championship as well but much more at what is going to happen in the future," said Schumacher after the race.

"There has been a lot of discussion for a lot of time what concerns my future and I think all the fans, all the motorsport interested people were right to explain what happened.

"I am sorry it took longer than expected. We feel this is the right moment to make a show in the way that this is going to be the last Monza race I am going to do. At the end of this year I have decided with the team that I am going to retire from racing.

"It has been an exceptional time in 30 years what motor racing has given to me. I have loved every single moment, the good and the bad ones, they make life so special, particularly I should thank my family starting with my dad, my passed away mum and my wife and my kids who at all times supported what I was doing.

"Without their support and without their strengths to survive in this business and this sport and to perform would have been impossible.

"I cannot be thankful enough to my family, but as well to all my mates and obviously especially the Ferrari days when I have made so many friends, so many great guys in the team and it has been a really tough decision to decide not to work together at this level and all my friends and everybody.

"But one day the day has to come and I felt that this is the moment, as well in terms of timing with the decision I thought it was fair to find that moment that Felipe has a chance to decide his future because I think he is a great guy. He has been doing a very good job to the team, a great teammate, very supportive.

"There was a moment to decide for his future and there was no point for me to take my decision any later than his decision had to be taken."

Schumacher also welcomed Ferrari's decision to sign Kimi Raikkonen, the man who will replace the German next season.

"I was pleased and I knew a long time ago that he was the person," Schumacher added. "Now I just like to concentrate on these last three wins and finish it in style and hopefully with the championship. We made a big step for that and I really look forward to it.

"I want to thank everybody as all stages, there have been a lot of help.

It was not clear what future role Schumacher might take with Ferrari but the team said that they would 'define' his role at the end of the year.

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