Ecclestone: Schumacher should not have made F1 comeback
December 8, 2012 -- Updated 0113 GMT (0913 HKT)
Michael Schumacher struggled to recapture past glories in his three-year second stint in F1.
- Bernie Ecclestone believes Michael Schumacher should not have returned to F1
- Seven-time champion Schumacher winless in his three seasons with Mercedes
- Ecclestone says the lack of success after coming out of retirement tarnished his image
- F1 supremo hails success of the 2012 season
(CNN) -- F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes seven-time Michael Schumacher made a mistake by coming out of retirement in 2010 to spend three largely unsuccessful seasons with Mercedes.
The 43-year-old German quit for a second time at the end of the 2012 campaign and will be replaced in the team by Britain's Lewis Hamilton next season.
A solitary podium spot in the European Grand Prix at Valencia earlier this year was the highlight of Schumacher's comeback and Ecclestone said the poor results have tarnished his image.
"I would rather he had stopped as a seven-time world champion than stopping now," Ecclestone told the official F1 website.
"People new to the sport -- people who have joined the F1 fan fraternity just recently -- will remember Michael now, not as he was.
Schumacher to retire from F1
Schumacher proud of German drivers
"They don't see the hero that he was but the human that can fail. We will miss Michael, because even though he wasn't winning races in those three years, he is still very popular.
"I think the important thing is -- and this is probably difficult -- to know when you can't do what you used to do anymore and then hand it over to somebody else."
Schumacher's final season in F1 saw him finish 13th in the driver standings as fellow German Sebastian Vettel made it a hat-trick of titles in his Red Bull.
It was a far cry from his glory days at Ferrari where he won five titles and his two earlier championship successes with Benetton.
The 82-year-old Ecclestone has also faced calls to step aside from his role at the helm of F1, but said he would only quit when he felt he was not doing a good job.
"I hope that's what I can do: when I feel I can't deliver, I will certainly say goodbye," he said.
Highlighting the success of F1's return to the United States at Austin, which he said was "perfectly prepared, Ecclestone added that everything about the sport was "super positive" and hinted at further expansion plans, which will see Russia added to the grand prix calendar.
Part of complete coverage on
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
A rare interview with the Gerhard Noack, the man who spotted Vettel and Schumacher as young Kart racing drivers in Germany
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
CNN's Amanda Davies travels to Sebastian Vettel's hometown of Heppenheim in Germany.
Relive the Formula One season as it progressed, circuit by circuit, race by race.
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT)
Germany has only produced two Formula One champions -- and they can thank one man for spotting their nascent talent.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
Formula One's 83-year-old boss Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari will have a big say in who replaces him -- but he's not going anywhere yet.
CNN's Amanda Davies travels to a small German town to discover the real Sebastian Vettel, F1's all-conquering champion.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
November 28, 2013 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Red Bull's four time world champion Sebastian Vettel lifts the lid on life out in front of the pack.
November 17, 2013 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
It is 5 a.m. on Sunday morning in Austin, Texas and the grid girls are already up and getting ready for the race.
November 12, 2013 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
There are books -- and then there are books. This one has been six years in the making and it doesn't come cheap.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wyatt explores the popularity of F1 in India and what the future might hold.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
How would you feel if your boss asked you to lose weight so you could carry on doing your job? That is the reality facing Formula One drivers.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
Kimi Raikkonen has long been box office gold, even before he re-signed with Ferrari for 2014, says CNN's Sarah Holt.
September 6, 2013 -- Updated 1627 GMT (0027 HKT)
Monza may be a long way from his birthplace in West Lothian, Scotland but Italy is unquestionably a home from home for Paul di Resta.
Today's five most popular stories