Ecclestone: Schumacher's image tarnished
7 December 2012 – Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Michael Schumacher should not have returned to the sport with Mercedes in 2010, arguing that the German damaged his 'heroic' reputation during his three-year stint racing for the Silver Arrows.
According to 82-year-old Ecclestone, people new to Formula 1 will not remember Schumacher for his seven titles, but instead for his recent struggles.
"I would rather he had stopped as a seven-time World Champion than stopping now," Ecclestone told the official Formula 1 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."
Despite his difficult phase with Mercedes, Schumacher remains the most successful driver in the sport's history courtesy of his aforementioned seven Drivers' crowns, 91 victories, 64 further podium finishes, 68 pole positions and total of 1,566 points.