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Schumacher motivated despite Hamilton deal

October 3, 2012 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
German Michael Schumacher won seven Formula One world championships between 1994 and 2004.
German Michael Schumacher won seven Formula One world championships between 1994 and 2004.
  • Michael Schumacher insists he is motivated despite doubts over his future
  • The German driver will be replaced at Mercedes for 2013 by Lewis Hamilton
  • The seven-time world champion has been linked with a switch to Sauber
  • Schumacher will serve a 10-place grid penalty at this weekend's Japanese GP

(CNN) -- Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher insists he is still motivated to race in Formula One despite last week's announcement that he will be replaced at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton.

The German has been linked with a switch to the Sauber team after it was confirmed Mexican Sergio Perez would be leaving the Swiss-based marque to replace 2008 world champion Hamilton at McLaren.

"My motivation is completely intact after the news last week," the 43-year-old told the sport's official website ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

"Especially because Suzuka is one of the season's highlights for me. I enjoy the circuit -- it has sections that challenge you as a driver like almost nowhere else."

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Since coming out of retirement in 2010, the former Ferrari driver has struggled to recapture his best form.

He won five consecutive titles with the Italian team between 2000 and 2004, but he has registered just one podium finish since returning to the sport.

On Sunday, the most-decorated driver in F1 history will have his work cut out to finish in the points as Schumacher must serve a 10-place grid penalty at Suzuka for his part in a collision which forced both he and Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne out of the Singapore Grand Prix.

"Logically, it would also be nice to achieve a sporting highlight this weekend," continued Schumacher. "Although my chances are of course very limited because of my grid penalty. But I've always approached these things as a challenge."

Schumacher is currently 12th in the drivers' standings, 151 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, with six races of the season remaining.

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