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It wasn't meant to be, says Schumacher
Alan Baldwin | October 23, 2006 08:39 IST
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher said farewell to Formula One on Sunday with a stirring drive from last to fourth place against the odds in his final Brazilian Grand Prix.
"The race was rather chaotic, I guess that's the right word for it," he told Germany's RTL television.
"We had an insanely quick car today. We probably had enough speed to lap everyone, to be honest. We did that sort of anyhow," he added.
"All in all, I'd have to say it was a class finale with the car, with the speed we've got. But it just wasn't meant to be today, for me."
Schumacher started 10th and was fifth when he suffered a puncture as he passed the Renault of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella. He then fought his way from the back of the field with one of the most stirring drives of his 16-year career.
Asked about the puncture, and whether an impact with Fisichella might have been to blame, Schumacher was unsure.
"I was told that it happened but I couldn't judge it myself because I didn't see it or even really feel anything," he said. "I just noticed that at some point my tyre wasn't working any more."
He leaves Formula One with seven titles, 91 wins and a string of records that may never be beaten.
Schumacher, 37, said he had "no idea" how long it would take to get used to the idea of retirement. He did acknowledge that there were regrets and mistakes made in his career.
"There are certainly some of those but it would get too intense to talk about that now," he told Premiere television. "You know the song 'My Way'? I'd say that fits the way I feel."
Schumacher said he would miss the legions of fans who stuck with him throughout.
"What I'll miss is the moments, the good and the bad, that we had in the last 16 years -- the support the fans gave me that restored my self-confidence at times where things weren't going so well. The majority of fans supported me all along.
"That was immensely important for me over such a long sporting career. I'd like to say a huge thanks to them all. I know that's not nearly enough to pay that back but I'm afraid I can't do more at the moment."
Sunday's race was won by team mate Felipe Massa, the first Brazilian since the late Ayrton Senna in 1993 to win his home race.
"I'm really happy for Felipe that he could be the next Brazilian after Senna to win here," said Schumacher, runner-up in the championship to Renault's Spaniard Fernando Alonso. "And naturally I congratulate Fernando as well."
He said did not think about it being his final race.
"For us it was business as usual. The focus was on trying to win the constructors' title. We knew that would require a one-two finish to get us in position for that. But that required us to concentrate 100 percent on the issue at hand. There wasn't really much time to think about anything else."
(Additional reporting by Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin)
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