Skip to main content

Ecclestone: Schumacher should not have made F1 comeback

updated 8:13 PM EST, Fri December 7, 2012
Michael Schumacher struggled to recapture past glories in his three-year second stint in F1.
Michael Schumacher struggled to recapture past glories in his three-year second stint in F1.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bernie Ecclestone believes Michael Schumacher should not have returned to F1
  • Seven-time champion Schumacher winless in his three seasons with Mercedes
  • Ecclestone says the lack of success after coming out of retirement tarnished his image
  • F1 supremo hails success of the 2012 season

(CNN) -- F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes seven-time Michael Schumacher made a mistake by coming out of retirement in 2010 to spend three largely unsuccessful seasons with Mercedes.

The 43-year-old German quit for a second time at the end of the 2012 campaign and will be replaced in the team by Britain's Lewis Hamilton next season.

A solitary podium spot in the European Grand Prix at Valencia earlier this year was the highlight of Schumacher's comeback and Ecclestone said the poor results have tarnished his image.

"I would rather he had stopped as a seven-time world champion than stopping now," Ecclestone told the official F1 website.

"People new to the sport -- people who have joined the F1 fan fraternity just recently -- will remember Michael now, not as he was.

Schumacher to retire from F1
Schumacher proud of German drivers

"They don't see the hero that he was but the human that can fail. We will miss Michael, because even though he wasn't winning races in those three years, he is still very popular.

"I think the important thing is -- and this is probably difficult -- to know when you can't do what you used to do anymore and then hand it over to somebody else."

Schumacher's final season in F1 saw him finish 13th in the driver standings as fellow German Sebastian Vettel made it a hat-trick of titles in his Red Bull.

It was a far cry from his glory days at Ferrari where he won five titles and his two earlier championship successes with Benetton.

The 82-year-old Ecclestone has also faced calls to step aside from his role at the helm of F1, but said he would only quit when he felt he was not doing a good job.

"I hope that's what I can do: when I feel I can't deliver, I will certainly say goodbye," he said.

Highlighting the success of F1's return to the United States at Austin, which he said was "perfectly prepared, Ecclestone added that everything about the sport was "super positive" and hinted at further expansion plans, which will see Russia added to the grand prix calendar.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 1:30 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
updated 8:16 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
updated 5:55 PM EST, Mon February 24, 2014
Susie Wolff
Despite being a sport well into its seventh decade, only two women have ever driven in Formula 1 but Susie Wolff hopes to become the third.
updated 12:36 PM EST, Mon February 24, 2014
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
updated 7:26 AM EST, Sat February 22, 2014
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
updated 7:13 PM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
updated 7:17 AM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
CNN's Rosie Tomkins speaks to Caterham F1 owner Tony Fernandes on the team's driver line-up for 2014.
updated 12:13 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
updated 11:33 AM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
updated 6:56 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT