| AP Photo/Mark Baker
Michael Schumacher has refused to blame his car for throwing up results which were a far cry from his dominant reign in Formula 1.
Having returned to the sport in 2010 after a three-year hiatus, the seven-time world champion has failed to add to his record 91 victories.
Since his comeback, a sole podium – registered at the European Grand Prix in Valencia - was all that the German had to show for his efforts in the three seasons with Mercedes.
"As racing drivers, we are independent of the cars," Schumacher told Die Welt. "The fact things didn't go as well for me as planned is my fault, not that of the team.
"What is important though is to be able to look in the mirror and be able to say that I gave all I had. And I can do that,” he pointed out. "I can leave Formula 1 with my head held high."
The Mercedes driver will not be racing in F1 after the end of the season as he announced his retirement – this time for good – earlier this month and is now looking forward to spending time with his family.
"How often has my wife gone off to a riding tournament, which I couldn't go to, because I was off to a race? That has bothered me more and more recently," he said.
"There is only so much time a sportsman can perform at the highest level. This time I have already extended my stay longer than most."
"My mission is over, so I can go back to the happy period of my life which I enjoyed during my first retirement," he added.