Schumacher announces retirement from F1
MONZA, Italy, Sep 10 (Reuters) Michael Schumacher, the most successful Formula One driver of all time, announced today that he was retiring from the sport at the end of the season.
Ferrari announced the German's decision just minutes after Schumacher won the Italian Grand Prix.
''All these years in Formula 1 have been amazing, especially those spent alongside my friends in the Scuderia (Ferrari),'' said Schumacher in the statement.
''Soon my future will belong to my family, while I am hapy to be still part of Ferrari. But for now, what matters is this world championship,'' said the German.
It was not clear what future role Schumacher might take with Ferrari but the team said that they would 'define' his role at the end of the year.
''I had always said that the decision to retire would be his alone, but now that decision has been taken I feel a sense of sadness,'' said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
The German has won an unprecedented seven titles during a career which has seen him set a long list of records, including most wins, pole positions, podium finishes, fastest laps and wins in a season.
Schumacher is currently second in the championship, just two points behind Renault's Fernando Alonso.
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen and Brazilian Felipe Massa will race for Ferrari next season, the team said.
Raikkonen, currently with McLaren, has agreed a three-year deal while Massa's contract was extended to the end of 2008.
REUTERS PDS KN1926