Schumacher proud of protégé Vettel

Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix 23rd - 25th November 2012
Interlagos, Sao Paulo
Michael Schumacher congratulates Sebastian Vettel
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Michael Schumacher says he is “very proud” of protégé Vettel and his clinching of a third title.

“I think it's a nice ending,” said the seven-time champion of his compatriot. “I’m finishing off and he's clinching his third title. I’m very proud of him, he’s a good friend of mine. 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.

“As early as the first lap, I suddenly found him blocking the track facing the wrong way, but then the two of us both staged great comebacks in the race,” Schumacher added. “His performance also showed that you just have to keep plugging away.”

I’m finishing off and he's clinching his third title. I’m very proud of him.

Of his own departure from the sport after 19 seasons over the past 21 years, the German said he had enjoyed his race to seventh place behind Vettel.

“Even under these difficult conditions, my final Formula One race was tremendous fun, and I would once again like to thank the team and all my fans for their support over the past years. I've enjoyed the time we've spent together very much indeed,” he said.