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Schumacher thanks Mercedes as future remains unclear

ESPN Staff
September 28, 2012 « 'Sergio lacks nothing' - Whitmarsh | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Michael Schumacher leaves Mercedes having scored just one podium since returning to Formula One in 2010 © Press Association
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Michael Schumacher has thanked Mercedes for its "unconditional commitment" after it was confirmed he would be replaced by Lewis Hamilton in 2013.

Schumacher joined Mercedes when it returned to Formula One in 2010, himself making a comeback after three seasons away from the sport. However, it was confirmed that he would leave the team at the end of 2012 with Hamilton moving in to replace him, and - without revealing his own plans - Schumacher said he hopes Mercedes achieves more success in the future.

"I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side," Schumacher said. "I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races."

Upon announcing Hamilton's arrival, team principal Ross Brawn paid tribute to Schumacher's attitude despite results only including one podium in three years.

"On behalf of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, I would first of all like to thank Michael Schumacher for the important contribution he has made to the growth of our team over the past three seasons," Brawn said. "His energy and commitment have never wavered, even when results have not matched our own expectations, and we are determined to finish the 2012 season together on a high. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael."

Mercedes head of motorsport Norbert Haug also said that Schumacher's experience had been vital in the team re-establishing itself in Formula One.

"Of course, it takes a great driver to replace such a legendary and successful one as Michael Schumacher," Haug said. "Over the past three years, Michael has been a great driver and an exemplary ambassador for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS. His experience has been an important factor in guiding the development of our team in Brackley and we extend our sincere thanks to Michael for his loyalty, team play and commitment. We will be working very hard together in order to achieve the best possible results in the remainder of the 2012 season."

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