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Schumacher: Second is a great result for Mercedes

NEWS STORY
29/11/2013

Michael Schumacher has paid tribute to his old team Mercedes whilst admitting that he's glad he's not Sebastian Vettel's teammate.

While many feel the German's return to F1 for three-seasons was a largely wasted opportunity, others believe the obvious improvements in 2013 have put the seven-time champion's performances in perspective, especially compared to his teammate Nico Rosberg.

Schumacher, who remains an ambassador for the German manufacturer, has paid tribute to the team's improved form in 2013.

"It is a great result," he said in an interview for the team. "Particularly if you consider where we're coming from last year. I mean we were absolutely nowhere by the end of the year, and nobody could have expected (us) to be fighting even at part of the season for the championship. So they did it, they had a great start of the year and they even were able to a sort of push through the year quite hard. Until a point that they understood, 'OK, here we are at the end of the championship for us so it is better to focus on to 2014'. As we did in the past.

"The infrastructure now is in place," he continued. "Since quite a while Ross Brawn decided to have the right amount of people in the right position and everything now is there to have the base to fight the championship in the future. And that's what I think can happen. Anyway, congratulations for the second position."

Asked if he misses F1, he replied: "Formula One is certainly the highlight of motorsport and it's great to drive the car absolutely, yes. I enjoyed (it) when I have been in Nurburgring to drive the car to have a bit of fun but to do it seriously, no. I'm tired of this and that is why I decided so, Mercedes gave me the option to continue for the future and I didn't really fancy it. I have arrived in my new life and that is very nice. Even if you go back after the first time I retired I didn't really miss it because I have so many other pleasureful things to do, so it is a good life."

The German paid tribute to his 'successor' and great friend Sebastian Vettel, having won his fourth successive title.

"(It was a) great job, very consistent, look at his teammate that is your reference point. I mean he won all those races, 13 this year. Mark Webber he won none in the end, if I'm right. That is pretty shocking. I'm glad I'm not his teammate. But definitely he is the worthy truly champion. I'm really happy for him. If somebody can break all this records I prefer it to be him, than somebody else. I did what I did in my time. He is doing it in his time. I'm glad it is him in the end."

Looking ahead to 2014, Schumacher, like many, believes the new formula could well suit Mercedes, though he isn't so sure the new rules will upset the order to the extent some are predicting.

"I think you shouldn't expect too many changes because of the engine," he admitted. "Aerodynamics always outplayed the engine and it will always in future. So the better car, and the better package in the end will win. Yes, if you have two identically packages than the better engine might play a difference and we know that Mercedes is always been on the top side, on the engine side."

Finally, asked how he's spending his retirement, he revealed: "I'm looking after young drivers in the go-kart area. I've always been close to the go-kart scene. I have a friend, he builds go-karts and I do actually test drives and development for him. Yeah, karting is a fascinating world that I still love to be involved in and I always see young kids and they come along and so I give them my point of view and they appreciate that."

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