Michael Schumacher paid tribute to newly crowned triple world champion Sebastian Vettel after his own career came to a close in Brazil. Schumacher’s last act on track saw him let Vettel through into sixth and the seven-time champion expressed his pride for his fellow countryman after his sensational achievement. He also sent out a message to his many supporters after his 308th and final Grand Prix.
“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.”
While Schumacher ended Mercedes’ five race run without a point, Nico Rosberg ended the year with another disappointing result following a puncture and he was certainly happy to see the back of Sao Paulo 2012.
“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.”