R.I.P. Michael Schumacher: He Announced his Retirement from Formula 1
Having a seven-timeFormula 1world champion with 91 wins, 155 podium finishes, 68 pole positions and 77 fastest laps drive one of your cars is probably a wise move.
Mercedes GP certainly thought so; that’s why when Michael Schumacher, the most successful F1 driver of all times, decided that three years away from the tracks were more than he could handle and wanted to make a comeback in 2009, he was signed by the Silver Arrows despite being at the ripe age of 40.
After a three-year stint, in which he was often outperformed by his much younger team mate Nico Rosberg, Mercedes revealed thatit signed Lewis Hamiltonfor the next three years and Schumacher today announced his retirement at the end of the season during a press conference at the Suzuka circuit.
The German thanked Daimler and theMercedesGP team for their trust, as well as his family who stood by his decisions.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, who has cooperated with Schumacher for quite a long time, having worked with him previously in Benetton and Ferrari, commented that he is the greatest Formula 1 driver.
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Schumi completed his 300th race, being the second F1 driver to do so after his former Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello.
His best result wasa third place at this year’s European GP, which at the age of 43 (and 173 days), made him the oldest driver ever to climb to an F1 podium since Jack Brabham finished second at the 1970 British GP.
Mercedes-Benz has upgraded its F1 Safety Car replacing the SLS AMG with the newer SLS AMG GT. The GT evolution of the gull-wing model made its first appearance in a race situation at this month’s 2012 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix and will also be deployed at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.
The GT model comes with improved driving dynamics, better on-track performance, a 20Hp boost for a total of 583hp (591PS) from its 6.2-liter V8 and new design features such as the darkened headlamps and taillights and the grille finish.
The changes over the regular production model are kept to a minimum and include a specially developed and more sonorous rear silencer, F1 decals, safety lights on the rear window, bucket seats with six-point seat belts, two central screens that allow the driver and co-pilot to monitor the progress of the race and a radio system to communicate with the organizers.