Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher will retire from Formula One at the end of the season.
The end of an era. No matter what anyone says about him, he has still made his mark in Formula 1 and in autoracing history. No other driver has ever been as sucessful as him. There are a few who made their mark in their sport. There’s Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras, Tiger Woods, Richard Petty, Mario Andretti and one Michael Schumacher. It’s quite sad when a sporting great retires but they have to someday.
Another driver will come along and win championships and win races but they will always be measured by those who have come before him (or her).
I can still remember the day when Ferrari finally won the Driver’s and Constructor’s championship in 2000 in Suzuka, Japan. The races when Michael came back to win the race from dead last. His signature leap on the podium when he wins a race and the joy of the faces of the “tifosi” when he wins in Italy. The emotional moments when he chose to race and won even when his mother just passed away. The time when he passed Aryton Senna for the most wins, a press conference where he spent most of the time crying and Mika not wanting to talk to the press. And of course, the day when he announced his retirement.
Just as he did today.
Next year will be a new chapter for Formula 1. Kimi will be in red. Alonso will be in the silver car. A new season of possibilities. But for now, we have to savor the moment while he’s still in the car. Beacuse it will be a very long wait for someone with his talent to come along once again.