Aug 1, 2013, 4:15 PM EDT
Michael Schumacher has admitted that he is surprised by Mercedes’ success in 2013 following three lacklustre years with the team before retiring for a second time at the end of last season.
Schumacher is statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen, winning 91 grands prix and seven world championships. After retiring in 2006, the German driver announced a shock comeback in 2010 for the newly-formed Mercedes works team. However, he failed to extend his remarkable record, claiming just one podium during three years of racing.
“Given where we finished last season, it’s a surprise where they are now,” Schumacher told Eurosport. “I could not see that coming.”
Mercedes have certainly enjoyed an upturn in fortunes this season as both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have at least one race win under their belt, and the team has dominated qualifying in 2013 by taking 70% of pole positions. However, Schumacher does not believe he could have continued with the team into this new ‘era’ as much as he may have liked to.
“Honestly, I didn’t have the strength for it, the motivation and physical strength,” Schumacher explained. “These three years consumed so much energy that there would not have been enough left over to continue on the level at which I want to measure myself.”
The fairytale comeback just wasn’t to be for Schumacher, but his retirement allowed the team to take on Lewis Hamilton and the Silver Arrows can now arguably boast the strongest driver line-up on the grid. With the team’s tire woes also resolved, Mercedes could now be considered contenders for both championships heading into the second half of the season.
- Ryan Briscoe making most of filling in for James Hinchcliffe 0
- F1 Strategy Group pushing through technical revolution for 2017, other changes planned as early as Belgian GP 1
- 2015 British Grand Prix Preview 1
- Here are your British Grand Prix air times on CNBC, NBCSN, Live Extra 0
- Miles: After “two-sided pancake” Fontana race, IndyCar may crack down against stakeholder comments 11
- IndyCar issues penalties and fines following MAVTV 500 at Fontana 5
- NHRA shakeup: Tom Compton retires as president, Peter Clifford named successor 6