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Germany braces for post Schumacher period
''The king of motor sport abdicates his throne''
Michael Schumacher was the face on the front pages of most German newspapers on Monday as the country hailed one of their greatest sporting heroes following his decision to retire from Formula One.

Schumacher kept
in contention for an eighth world title by recording his 90th career victory in the Monza Grand Prix on Sunday, and then confirmed this would be his final season in the sport.

"Incredible! Schumi wins in Monza then quits!" headlined Bild daily, the country's best-selling newspaper.

"Grazi Schumi, you will always have a place in our hearts. Now let us enjoy you three more times."

Schumacher has three races left in the season and the Monza win gives him a real shout of signing off with an eighth crown having closed the gap to just two points on Spain's Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship.

"The king of motor sport abdicates his throne," said the Frankfurter Rundschau.

"It is difficult for the fans in Germany to imagine Formula One without him.

"However it will be even more difficult to imagine Schumacher without Formula One as it has been his life for so long."

Schumacher entered Formula One in 1991 and after three years of racing made a name for himself with the Benetton team, winning back-to back titles in 1994 and 1995.

In 1996 the German ace switched to Ferrari and after a difficult start he dominated the track winning the championship five times in a row from 2000 onwards.

Despite a combination of talent and cut-throat tactics which divided many in the sport, Schumacher admitted he could not have done it alone.

"I would like to thank my dad and my mum and kids who have supported me," Schumacher said. "Without their strength, it would have been impossible. I cannot thank my family enough but also to all my mates at (former team) Benetton and at Ferrari and I have so many great friends there.

"It has been so great but the day had to come and I felt that this was the moment."

Newspaper Die Welt said the departure had been "almost perfect" referring to the fact that Ferrari, rather than Schumacher, actually revealed the news.

Ferrari announced their drivers for next season - with Schumacher excluded - before the German legend confirmed the news with an emotional post-race speech.
Source AFP

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