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Michael Schumacher has announced that he is to retire from the sport (again) at the end of the current season.
The seven-time world champion returned to the sport in 2010, and while his first season was patchy, the second and third seasons have seen a marked improvement.
Nonetheless, a car unable to match the 'big three', reliability issues, his age and a number of needless mistakes, have meant the German legend has never quite lived up to expectations, certainly when one recalls his golden era.
His hand clearly forced by Mercedes recruitment of Lewis Hamilton, Schumacher, who had been linked with Sauber or even a return to Ferrari, today confirmed what many had been thinking and Bernie Ecclestone previously let slip.
"Although I am still able to compete with the best drivers, at some point it is good to say goodbye," he said. "During the past month I was not sure if I still had the motivation and energy which is necessary to go on. It is not my style to go on if I'm not 100% with it but with today's decision I feel relieved."
Undisputedly one of the biggest draws in the sport, Schumacher goes into this weekend's race facing a ten-place grid penalty following a mistake in Singapore which ended his race and that of Jean-Eric Vergne.
It is hoped that he will be remembered for the successes of the golden era and not the retirements and mistakes of his comeback years.
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