Formula One: Schumacher says he's 'rather relaxed' going into final race

2012-11-24T00:00:00Z Formula One: Schumacher says he's 'rather relaxed' going into final raceThe Associated Press The Associated Press
November 24, 2012 12:00 am  • 

SAO PAULO - Michael Schumacher's main goal entering his final Formula One race is to have some fun.

The seven-time world champion will finish F1's most successful career at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, hoping that he can enjoy the moment without the pressure of having to do well on the track.

Schumacher retired for the first time after the 2006 season, when he came to the finale in Interlagos still fighting for the championship.

Out of contention this time, the 43-year-old German driver said Thursday that he comes to the Brazilian GP looking to "just take the best out of it and enjoy it as much as I can.

"I guess I have some experience and that's why, probably, I'm rather relaxed about the happenings," Schumacher said. "On top (of that), we are not in any championship fight compared to last time that happened to me."

Schumacher lost the title to Fernando Alonso in 2006, when he had already announced his retirement plans. He was retiring while on top, but this time it's different. He struggled throughout his three seasons with Mercedes since returning in 2010. He is only 15th in this year's drivers' standings.

"I have tried that mission to end successful," he said. "It didn't work this time but I'm quite happy to finish from here and go for a different life again."

Nobody has matched Schumacher's seven titles, and he's also the F1 driver with most wins (91), pole positions (68), fastest laps (77) and most podium finishes (155). He is second in the numbers of races entered (307) behind former Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello.

How would Schumacher sum up his 19 seasons in F1?

"Well, I don't think we have long enough here to sum it up, but let's put it that way: It was mostly 20 good years and lots of fun and lots of excitement," he said.

Pit stops

• Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first day of practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday, while F1 leader Sebastian Vettel was second and title challenger Fernando Alonso was fifth. Hamilton, in his last race with McLaren, had a lap of 1 minute 14.026 seconds in the second practice session.

Vettel has a 13-point lead over Alonso and needs to finish fourth or better to become Formula One's youngest three-time champion at age 25.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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