A thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos this afternoon saw Michael Schumacher end his Formula One career with a battling seventh place finish, whilst Nico Rosberg came home in 15th position after a dramatic and rain-affected race.
Both drivers suffered a puncture from debris in the early stages of the race which compromised their afternoons. Michael stopped four times on laps 5, 8, 17 and 54, with a prime/prime/inter/prime/inter tyre usage. Nico also came into the pits four times on laps 9, 18, 20 and 50, using option/inter/prime/prime/inter tyres.
Michael Schumacher: What an exciting and eventful Grand Prix! Strangely enough, my last ever Formula One race began with a puncture which pushed me down the running order. But it's always been my philosophy to never give up - there's always a chance, you just have to keep going and seize it when it comes. It's a strange sort of coincidence that I've ended my Formula One career now in P7, which was my first ever qualifying result at Spa-Francorchamps 308 races ago. It also occurs to me that I was driving with the number seven on my car today and that I have seven world championship trophies in my cabinet. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on claiming his third world title in a row. I'm very proud of Sebastian and really thrilled for him. As early as the first lap, I suddenly found him blocking the track facing the wrong way, but then the two of us both staged great comebacks in the race. His performance also showed that you just have to keep plugging away. Even under these difficult conditions, my final Formula One race was tremendous fun, and I would once again like to thank the team and all my fans for their support over the past years. I've enjoyed the time we've spent together very much indeed.
Nico Rosberg: That was definitely the longest race of my life today! The start was pretty good, and I was running in the top eight. After the puncture however, there was damage to the floor and I lost a lot of performance. So unfortunately I had no chance to fight back from there. It must have been a fantastic race for the fans here in Interlagos and watching on the TV and I hope they enjoyed the show. Congratulations to Sebastian on the world title which is very well deserved. For myself, I am now looking forward to next year and the chance to attack again. Many thanks to the team for all of their efforts this year which saw our first win together, and we can look forward to making further progress and a better 2013.
Ross Brawn: We saw a very dramatic race today and a fitting finale to a great season for Formula One. From our perspective, the two punctures early on put us in a difficult position with both cars. Nico's car suffered a lot of damage and that made his race very difficult. Michael's puncture wasn't as severe and the team did a good job to recover, with some help from the safety car. Michael showed all of the skills that we know he has today to salvage his race; considered overtaking, good decisions on tyre strategy, and he kept the car on the road to bring us home some points. It was a nice way to finish the season and his career with us. In terms of results, his second spell in Formula One hasn't been as special but it has been so for all of us who have had the privilege of working with him. It has been a real honour for all of the boys and girls at our team, and working alongside Michael gives you a real understanding of why he is so special and has achieved seven world championships. He will be missed and we all wish him the very best for the future. Congratulations to Sebastian on achieving his third world title today, a very impressive achievement.
Norbert Haug: What an incredibly dramatic way to round off a long championship season! Michael and Nico had to make unplanned stops for punctures caused by debris on the track, losing a lot of time in the process. Both cars sustained damage to their underbody as a result, which affected downforce and pushed up lap times, with Nico's car suffering more than Michael's. In his final race, Michael mastered the difficult, damp conditions on the track in impressive style, battling his way through to seventh place. It was great to see Michael overcoming all these problems to finish among the points in his last ever Formula One race. We thank Michael not only for his tremendous dedication and his racing achievements for our team, but also for those great personal qualities that he manifested at all times. The three seasons he spent with us will always serve as a model of team play at its best. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing on wrapping up the world championship hat-trick. To become world champion three years in succession is a remarkable feat that has been achieved by only two previous drivers - Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
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