Speaking at the end of today's Brazilian Grand Prix, his swan song, and, fittingly, one of the finest performances of his 250 Grand Prix career, Michael Schumacher remained phlegmatic, admitting that it "wasn't meant to be".
As his teammate stood atop the podium, alongside double World Champion, Fernando Alonso, Schumacher spoke to German broadcaster RTL.
"The race was rather chaotic," he said of the 71 lap event, which saw him start from tenth, drop back to last following a puncture, and then fight his way back to fourth. "I guess that's the right word for it.
"We had an insanely quick car today," he admitted. "We probably had enough speed to lap everyone, to be honest. We did that sort of anyhow. All in all, I'd have to say it was a class finale with the car, with the speed we've got. But it just wasn't meant to be today, for me."
The exact reason for the puncture is unclear. Though TV replays didn't show any contact between the German and Giancarlo Fisichella, who he was passing to take fifth, Ross Brawn insists that the Italian was to blame.
"I was told that it happened but I couldn't judge it myself because I didn't see it or even really feel anything," Schumacher admitted. "I just noticed that at some point my tyre wasn't working any more."
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