Show over as Schumacher bids farewell

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Michael Schumacher bade an emotional farewell to Formula One on Sunday after finishing seventh in his final race, the tumultuous season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

After 21 years, seven drivers' championship triumphs and 91 victories, the 43-year-old recovered from an early puncture to score points in his final outing with the Mercedes team.

In an incident-packed race, Schumacher fell to the back of the field in the opening laps but climbed to sixth before being passed by title-bound fellow-German, and good friend, Sebastian Vettel.

"I think it's a nice ending," he said. "I'm finishing off and he's (Vettel) clinching his third title. I'm very proud of him and he's a good friend of mine and let's see what happens in his future.

"My emotions are under control at the moment, maybe later having a drink and hugging the mechanics it'll become more sentimental but I'm looking forward to life after Formula One now.

"It's been a pretty big challenge in this race because obviously I had the puncture and was at the back again... It took some memories back to 2006 when the same thing happened to me.

"Luckily I have the nature of not giving up and always trying to find a solution, and it worked out. In a way it does remind me of 2003 when I had a similar struggle and just managed by a point to win the championship."

He smiled as he looked back on his thrilling fight with 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus during the race.

"People are here to see a show, so you might as well put one on," added Schumacher.

"Give it a go and give it the maximum. I was having a go, and at certain moments you need to accept that there isn't the space and admit defeat."

He added that he had enjoyed his "second career" with Mercedes.

"It's been a beautiful time. Lots of exciting moments we shared, and lots of tough moments. The most incredible thing in a way is that I felt a lot of support in these last three years and they have been the most difficult years for me. But the fans have always been behind me."

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