Michael Schumacher admits his F1 career unlikely to finish memorably
Retiring former champion suffered eighth retirement of 2012 in India
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 28/10/12 10:11pm
Michael Schumacher has conceded his Formula 1 career is unlikely to end on a high note after he suffered another dispiriting race, and ultimate eighth retirement of the season, in India.
The seven-times Champion, who will retire for the second time at the end of the year, had qualified only 14th after seeing the balance on his W03 go awry on Saturday afternoon and then picked up a rear puncture at the first corner of the race after contact from Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne.
With the incident dropping Schumacher to the back of the field, he was swiftly lapped by the front runners and then put under investigation by the stewards on the charge of ignoring blue flags - although he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in the hours after the race.
Late concerns over the car's gearbox prompted the German to pull into the Mercedes garage with five laps to go - his eighth DNF of the campaign - and with the team in general failing to score points for the second successive race, Schumacher is resigned to the fact that the final three races of his record-breaking career are unlikely to hold much joy for him.
"It would be nice, very clearly, but I'm not expecting it," he replied when asked by Sky Sports F1 if it was possible to end his career on a high.
"Therefore I'm not very sentimental about it. As long as I can fight for top positions I do my job as much as I can and try to help and support the team and get things ready for them for next year as much as is possible.
"But other than that it's kind of a normal job."
Schumacher's season, particularly when Mercedes were more competitive in the opening months of the campaign, has been hampered by incidents and poor reliability and his eight retirements this year now represent the most he has ever suffered in a single season since first entering F1 in 1991.
The 91-time GP winner, who once enjoyed a 58-race sequence without a mechanical retirement when at Ferrari, admitted that failing to make the chequered flag on such a regular basis was an usual experience for him.
"It's not a very good statistic quite honestly," Schumacher acknowledged.
"It's 17 races, or 16, we have done by now, eight retirements, so 50% retirement [rate]. Well, that's not a statistic I'm used to. Certainly not.
"But obviously we retired the car for precaution reasons but it was all done by the first corner."