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Michael Schumacher will not be swayed by the retirement of MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner. The German was at Le Mans when the Australian made his somewhat surprising announcement last weekend, although the Mercedes driver claims that his own situation will not be influenced by that of the Honda rider.
Stoner indicated that the latest changes in MotoGP were a chief reason for stepping out of the sport, drawing parallels with Schumacher’s own recent criticisms of Formula 1; following the Bahrain Grand Prix, when he struggled with tyre management while fighting through the field, the seven-time World Champion hit out at the current specification of Pirelli tyres which force a cautious driving style.
“Like most who have a little bit of involvement, we were all surprised,” Schumacher said of Stoner when talking to the press in Monaco on Wednesday. “So was I. But then you have to respect that. I don’t know his detailed reasons, but he is young enough to have a sabbatical rather than a total stop – but we’ll see.
“There is definitely no parallel with me. Each one is an individual when it comes to why he would decide to retire. At the time (2006), mine had nothing to do with any other reason than that I wanted to do it because I felt like I was tired. That’s it.”
When directly questioned over his own future, with his three-year Mercedes contract set to expire at the end of 2012, Schumacher replied:
“The (situation) hasn’t really changed. So far we’re not focussing on what happens next year or in the future. It’s more about what happens right now and the team and myself will get together, so unfortunately for you there’s no news yet (smiles).
“I don’t really want to get involved in deeper discussion other than what I just said, so let’s leave it there.”
Schumacher last won the Monaco Grand Prix for Ferrari in 2001.
(Top: Schumacher during the driver football match on Tuesday night)
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