Schumi: Hamilton helped me decide
Michael Schumacher admitted Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes was enough to convince him to turn his back on Formula One for a second time.
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The 43-year-old was left without a seat with the German marque for next season after Hamilton's switch from McLaren on a three-year deal was confirmed last week.
With very few options available to him, Schumacher felt the time was right, at the end of this season, to end a two-part career that saw him claim an unprecedented seven world titles and 91 race victories.
He said: "We all know Lewis is one of the best drivers we have around and I am sure he and the team will have a successful future," he said.
"The team had an option in Lewis that helped me decide.
"I was in the picture when negotiations were going on but I was not sure about myself. I have no hard feelings."
Schumacher's retirement, in spite of a second stint in the sport that has yielded just one podium in three seasons, leaves Hamilton facing the daunting task of replacing the most successful driver in the history of the sport.
But the Briton is keen to stress he does not see himself as a direct replacement for Schumacher.
"I don't see myself as replacing Michael. I don't think anyone can replace Michael, he's a legend in the sport, he has achieved so much already," he said.
"I feel privileged to have been in F1 at the same time as him. I watched him winning all his world championships at home in my living room so to have been on the track with him in 2006 and then for him to come back and for me to get to race against him has been a real privilege .
"I hope one day I can achieve some of the things he has done."