sport

Brawn tribute to Schumacher

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn is predicting "an emotional weekend" in Sao Paulo as Formula One bids a second goodbye to Michael Schumacher.

Six years after Schumacher retired for the first time, the 43-year-old bows out of the sport again after Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The last three years have been tough for Schumacher with Mercedes as he has never been given a true opportunity of adding to his legacy of seven world titles, 91 race wins and 68 poles.

But in the eyes of Brawn, who helped oversee Schumacher achieving all those feats, initially at Benetton and then Ferrari, the German will always be the best.

"With the last race of the season in Brazil also bringing Michael's second and final retirement from Formula One, it will be an emotional weekend for everyone in the team," said Brawn.

"We have both greatly enjoyed and benefited from working with Michael over the past three years, and I would like to pay tribute to his enduring commitment, passion and team spirit.

"The results we all hoped for over that period have not come to fruition, however the progress that our team has made has been significant, and I am confident we will see the rewards in seasons to come.

"Having worked with Michael for the majority of the 21 seasons of his career, I feel he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Formula One driver of all time, and we wish him the very best with his future plans."

Schumacher departs a team that has failed to score a point in its last five races.

But Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes Schumacher still deserves enormous credit for what he has achieved over his entire career in the sport.

"This weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix will bring a long, hard Formula One season to a close," said Haug.

"It will also mark the final Formula One race of Michael's career and we must thank him both for his committed contribution to the building-up process of our team and also his performances on track.

"Michael isn't just the most successful racing driver in the world, but also the best known; his ability and character are admired around the globe."

From Brawn's perspective, although the team have predominantly been building towards next season of late, he is determined to ensure the final race of a tough campaign does not end miserably.

Brawn added: "After a difficult few races we would like to end this season with a positive result.

"We will work hard to achieve that before our focus can finally turn fully to next year."