M. Schumacher admits Alonso factor in decision to retire

Thu, 6 September 2007, 12:45

Michael Schumacher has admitted for the first time that the ascendency of reigning world champion Fernando Alonso contributed to his decision to retire as a formula one racer.

At the height of his championship reign earlier this decade, the seven time world champion repeatedly declared that the right time to stop will be when a younger driver starts to regularly beat him.

38-year-old Schumacher told the Spanish language magazine ‘Gentleman’ this week that he decided to call it a day at the end of 2006 principally because he detected his dedication to the sport beginning to slip.

He added: “And I always said that the day a younger driver went past me would tell me that the moment had arrived to leave.”

Schumacher also revealed that he sympathises with his 2006 championship rival, as Alonso now endures a somewhat negative relationship with the media.

“I have been astonished by the commentaries of certain journalists,” the German said.

“This person is the youngest double world champion of all time, but they write that he is arrogant and inaccessible …”

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