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Schumacher: Only the title matters

NEWS STORY
11/09/2006

The day after the Monza win, recalling the crowd under the podium and announcement that he was retiring, the emotion is as high as ever. Thinking it over, Michael Schumacher can only smile.

"It was an indescribable day," he admits. "I think I did the right think saying that I would retire having won. I know that many people were surprised by my decision but, for me, it was the perfect moment. I think that Ferrari behaved admirably and left the decision entirely up to me. After selecting the Monza weekend for the announcement, at Istanbul I felt I had to take more time to think and I asked myself if the end of the year would have been the best time. However, during the tests at Monza when Jean asked me when I would have preferred to make the decision, I decided once again for post-race at Monza. I wanted to focus totally on the race to come. Today, I feel good about it".

The choice to retire is in line with Michael's style. He has an unusual competitiveness as the defining trait in his life and in his sporting quests. "I am not getting any younger and it is only natural that I ask myself whether I have the strength, energy and motivation to drive for another year and stay at the top", he explained. "Obviously, I am still fit and competitive but would I have still been in the future? Simply 'driving' is not enough for me. It is not my style. I am pleased to have taken this decision alone and calmly. For this I have to thank Ferrari, Willi, my manager over the years. He has often provided me with support during the time we have worked together, almost twenty years. I think that is all. We have complemented each other perfectly. He was the first to point me in the direction of F1 but he also gave me the freedom to retire.

"My Formula 1 goodbye, as announced, will not be a goodbye to Ferrari or Willi," he added. "We will work together again in the future and I am happy about this."

The future doesn't interest the seven time champion just yet as the current aim is the world title. "We still have three races left and we have to take our chance. We have almost made up the gap in the Drivers' championship and already overtaken Renault in the Constructors' standings. Both titles are within reach. From now on, all that counts for us is the title. Everything else can wait."

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