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Curtain down on Schumacher's colorful career

SAO PAULO -- Michael Schumacher bade an emotional farewell to Formula One on Sunday after finishing seventh in the Brazilian Grand Prix, bringing down the curtain on his controversial, colorful career.

After 21 years, seven drivers' championship triumphs and 91 victories, the 43-year-old recovered from an early puncture to score points in his final outing with the Mercedes team.

In an incident-packed race, Schumacher fell to the back of the field in the opening laps but climbed to sixth before being passed by title-bound fellow-German, and good friend, Sebastian Vettel.

“I think it's a nice ending,” he said. “I'm finishing off and he's (Vettel) clinching his third title. I'm very proud of him, he's a good friend of mine.

“My emotions are under control at the moment, maybe later having a drink and hugging the mechanics it'll become more sentimental but I'm looking forward to life after Formula One now.

“It's been a pretty big challenge in this race because obviously I had the puncture and was at the back again ... It took some memories back to 2006 when the same thing happened to me.

“Luckily I have the nature of not giving up and always trying to find a solution, and it worked out. In a way it does remind me of 2003 when I had a similar struggle and just managed by a point to win the championship.”

He smiled as he looked back on his thrilling fight with 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus during the race.

“People are here to see a show, so you might as well put one on,” added Schumacher.

“Give it a go and give it the maximum. I was having a go, and at certain moments you need to accept that there isn't the space and admit defeat.”

He added that he had enjoyed his “second career” with Mercedes.

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 History-making Vettel wins third title 
Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher, of Germany, flashes a thumbs up at the end of the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Sunday, Nov. 25. Seven-time world champion Schumacher is retiring after the 2012 season. (AP)

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