I had options to stay in F1 - Schumacher

Autosport

Michael Schumacher says he had options to carry on racing in F1 next season before deciding to call time on his career.

The seven-time champion announced at Suzuka on Thursday that he will retire from F1 at the end of the year, following a comeback that failed to deliver the results he and his Mercedes team had hoped for.

However, Schumacher said that he had the chance to carry on driving - and also that he is evaluating other non-racing options that exist, including a management role at Mercedes.

"If I wanted to stay I had options to stay, but I didn't really feel like it, quite honestly," said Schumacher in front of a packed press conference in the Suzuka paddock.

When asked what was the next step for him, Schumacher said: "It is very clear what comes next. Six races to go. That is what comes next.

"Whatever comes after, we will see. There is no point or any need to find any decisions right now, and I will do it exactly as I did it the first time, although I didn't at that time think there was a second time but here we are, which is to focus and finish 100 per cent on what I do.

"And then I will think about what I am going to do next after that.

"There is no more to say about this. I have options obviously yes, and you know some of the options. But whatever they will be, we will decide when the time is there."

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