Article

Ecclestone: Schumacher comeback a mistake

7 December 2012 19:41

Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone believes Michael Schumacher should have stayed in retirement rather than return to the sport.

Schumacher, widely regarded as one of the best drivers of all time, retired in 2006, when he was with Ferrari, before returning with Mercedes in 2010.

The German failed to win a race in the three seasons following his comeback and bowed out for a second time after Mercedes signed Lewis Hamilton for the 2013 season.

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

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

"They don't see the hero that he was but the human that can fail.

"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.

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

Ecclestone, whose future at the head of the organisation has come under increasing pressure in recent years, said he had no plans to walk away from the helm.

"I am - still - a fan of Formula One," the 82-year-old said.

"Probably the bad thing with me is that I put in lots of effort to build Formula One the way it is now, so this is my baby and I want to look after it.

"Sooner or later we're going to have to get a babysitter.

"When that will be, who knows? I am in very good shape."

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