Schumacher stated, "I have decided to retire at the end of the season. I still feel I am capable of competing against the best but the time sometimes comes to say goodbye and this time it might be forever. I had been thinking about whether I had the necessary motivation to carry on but I do not want to do something I am not 100 per cent committed to. Having made the decision I now feel a release."
It is a bit of a shame Mercedes-Petronas seemed to mismanage the twilight of Schumacher's career. His return was not what he expected but fans got to see one of the greats in action a last time. A new chapter unfolds both for Schumacher and the Mercedes Formula 1 program, he will be missed greatly in F1.
Schumacher career synopsis:
1969: Born on January 3 in Huerth-Hermuelheim, Germany.
1973: Makes his racing debut in a karting event.
1987: Wins German and European kart championships.
1988: Finishes fourth in German Formula Ford championship and is second in the European series in his first year of car racing.
1990: Wins first major single-seater title, clinching the German Formula Three crown. Steps up to sportscars, driving for Mercedes.
1991: Makes Formula One debut for Jordan in Belgium, qualifying seventh before retiring. Poached by Benetton for the rest of the season.
1992: Takes first Grand Prix win in Belgium on his way to third in the championship.
1994: Wins title, with eight wins to his name, after controversial last-race clash with Damon Hill in Australia.
1995: Retains world crown, taking nine victories.
1996: Moves to struggling Ferrari and manages three wins on his way to third in the championship.
1997: Wins five races but is stripped of second in the championship for attempting to take out title rival Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez.
1999: Breaks his leg at Silverstone when easily leading the championship.
2000: Finally wins Ferrari's first drivers' title since 1979, amassing nine wins on the way.
2001: Another nine wins and another title, setting a new record for all-time victories.
2002: Wins championship in record time, setting a new mark of 11 victories.
2003: Wins title by a point after six victories, breaking Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five championships.
2004: Breaks his own record for wins in a season, 13, to take title number seven.
2006: September 10 - Announces his retirement at end of 2006 season after winning Italian Grand Prix.
2009: July 29 - Announces plans to make a shock return to F1 with Ferrari, deputising for Felipe Massa until the Brazilian recovers from injuries suffered in an accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
August 11 - Forced to abort comeback due to a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident in February.
December 23 - Signs a three-year contract to drive for Mercedes GP, ending three years in retirement.
2010: Makes his return to F1 in Bahrain and finishes the season in ninth, with a highest finish of fourth.
2011: Betters his previous season with an eighth-placed finish and 96 points, with a fourth in Canada his best result.
2012: Returns to the podium for the first time since his retirement, finishing third in the European Grand Prix.
October 4: Announces he will be retiring from the sport at the end of the season.