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Schumacher: Draw no parallels with Stoner

24 May 2012

Michael Schumacher has again played down suggestions that he may be poised to bring the curtain down on his F1 career for the second time, insisting that he is looking no further forward than this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

The German is in the third and final year of his contract with Mercedes, and his lack of results has begun to see other names being linked with his seat. While sections of the media report that team principal Ross Brawn says the team needs to take the blame for limiting Schumacher's performance, the seven-time world champion continues to face questions about his future.

The German was present at last weekend's French MotoGP round, when reigning champion Casey Stoner stunned the paddock by announcing that he would be quitting the sport at the end of the season, but insisted that their reasons for stepping back were different.

“My feeling is that most of those who have a little bit of involvement [in the sport] were surprised [by Stoner's decision],” he admitted, “So was I, but then you have to respect that. I don't know his reasons - or his detailed reason - but he's young enough to have a sabbatical rather than a total stop.

“There's definitely no parallel to me; it's just that each one is very individual, why and for what reason he decides on his retirement. Mine, at the time, had nothing to do with any other reason than I wanted it to because I felt like I was tired, three years ago. That's it.”

Despite suggesting that Stoner take a sabbatical – as his own 'retirement' proved to be – Schumacher was again forced to dismiss talk of his own future.

“So far, we're not focusing on what happens next year, or in the future,” he told journalists at the Monaco Grand Prix, “It's more about what happens right now and the team and myself will get together, so there's no news for you yet, unfortunately. I don't really want to get involved in deep discussion other than what I just said, so let's leave it at that.”

The 43-year old also played down the reports of Brawn taking the blame for his lack of results in 2012, suggesting that Lady Luck had had more to do with his two-point haul from five races.

“I don't agree with maybe the translation of it, because I think we have quite a good car, quite honestly,” he insisted, “If you think where we're coming from last year, we have made a huge step forward. We have proven that we are able to win races.

“Yes, I have been a bit on the unlucky side, but you see we're a team, we are one big family and we win together and we lose together, it's part of it. It's probably that that [Brawn] wants to talk about. But, no, I don't feel at all disappointed – if anything, it's the reverse. I'm more motivated because of how much progress we have made and I can see the future progress that we can make and that's what is much more in my focus.”

Bad fortune will continue to dog Schumacher in Monaco, as the German starts with a five-place penalty for his involvement in a collision with Bruno Senna that ended both drivers' race in Spain a fortnight ago, but he believes that he can overcome the handicap, despite the Principality not being the most overtaking-friendly circuit on the schedule.

“I think we're going to be in a position to be competitive,” Schumacher claimed, “As a general track profile, I think it's going to suit [us]. Indeed, I have been coming from the complete back and gone forward to fifth position, I think. Let's see from where I finally manage to qualify and start the race and what can be done.

“It is certainly not ideal, but it is what it is and I look forward to it. I'm going to have some excitement pretty certainly.”


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