OCTOBER 4, 2012
Michael admits hand was forced
By Tony Dodgins
Michael Schumacher, speaking candidly to the media in Suzuka, admitted that he still had not made his mind up finally about his future when Lewis Hamilton elected to join Mercedes.
The 43-year-old said: "A special moment was that the team had found an option with Lewis. I was in the picture but didn't want to decide and sometimes destiny develops outside, and with no regrets.
"We all know Lewis is one of the best drivers we have and, cross fingers, they will have a successful future."
A telling line also came from Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn who, after warmly thanking Michael for his contribution, said: "Someone of Lewis's calibre doesn't become available every day and that was a key factor."
Hamilton himself played down any notion of 'replacing' Schumacher.
"You cannot replace Michael Schumacher," he said, "the man is a legend."