'I have so many options' - Schumacher

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IOL mot pic oct18 F1 Schumacher Face AFP An elegant Michael Schumacher arrives for the Audemars Piguet dinner in Berlin.

Surrounded by control desks with plenty of buttons and switches, Michael Schumacher is presenting a luxury watch at a sponsor event in a power station in downtown Berlin.

It is more than fitting as Schumacher is approaching the final ticks of his unique Formula One career and will make the switch to retirement for good after the November 25 season finale in Brazil.

The most successful driver in F1 history is elegantly dressed in black trousers and a white shirt, and in a relaxed mood, even making fun of his age ahead of his 44th birthday in January.

“Can I answer the first question first. My age, you know,” he tells a journalists attempting to ask him two things.

“It is easy for me to just jump into a cart on the weekend and to simply enjoy it.”

Schumacher will certainly continue sitting in a cart in the future, but - given that his wife Corinna is a devoted rider - will also be making do with less horsepower every now and then.

The time of doubts is over since Mercedes did not renew his contract. Schumacher then said he wouldn’t drive elsewhere and would retire for good as a seven-times world champions and 91-times race winner.

What comes then remains open but Schumacher is not afraid to hang up his race overall and helmet for good, saying he is not only a racer.

“My life afterwards? I have so many options, but I am not thinking about it right now.”

Schumacher is passionately speaking about watches and how they work and says he will certainly not spend the rest of his life in their house on Lake Geneva. After all he remains a desired person for sponsors after his two decades in the spotlight.

“I have always worked internationally and it will stay this way,” he says.

Schumacher won all of his races and titles during his first career which lasted until 2006. He returned in 2010 for the three-year deal at Mercedes but readily admits that the ambitous project to win races and possibly titles did not materialise.

“We have failed,” Schumacher says.

One fastest qualifying time (in Monaco 2012) and one podium (third at the European Grand Prix 2012) are the only highlights of his comeback stint which will come to an end with the upcoming races in India, Abu Dhabi, the US and Brazil. - Sapa-dpa

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