It’s the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, the last stop of the current Formula One season. As it is the end of another exciting F1 year, this race will also likely herald the end of an era—the Michael Schumacher era, in the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team. It will be the 7-time champion’s final race for the team, as Lewis Hamilton has been signed for next year to run alongside Nico Rosberg.
Calling Michael’s brief, and rather uneventful, 3-year stint with the Mercedes team an ‘era’ might be a tad premature, but considering what he brought to the team, he still had a definite impact in the identity and visibility for Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Everyone was just delighted when Schumacher made the podium this year at the European Grand Prix, the first since he came out of retirement. The finish also made him the oldest driver to get one in F1. He was 43 years and 173 days old at the time. He was also able to achieve his 77th fastest lap for his career, back in July, and also raced in his 300th GP—becoming only the second driver to get to 300, the other being former Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello.
“Interlagos is the right place to round off my career because so much of the fascination of Formula One is rooted there,” Schumacher said, adding that it’s the circuit that brings back memories of Ayrton Senna.
“I have had fantastic years in Formula One and a lot of support from fans around the world, and I wish to particularly thank them for that. Of course, I would be happiest if I could say goodbye with a strong race, and I am sure we will be doing everything we can to make it happen.”
Rosberg added that he hopes for a positive end to the team’s season, with a good showing from practice to qualifying to the race proper. He stressed the importance of learning from the race and from the season to make next year more competitive.
Rosberg also noted the farewell race for Schumacher. “I wish him all the best for the future and it was a great experience for me to race with and against him,” he said.