|© AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Michael Schumacher has one last chance as he rides into the sunset of his Formula 1 career in Brazil next weekend to salvage something from his disastrous comeback to the sport.
The seven-time world champion, who announced that he would quit F1 at the end of the season, has failed to score in the last six races and is currently languishing in 15th place in the drivers’ championship with one race to go.
Stricken with reliability issues and an under-performing car, the 43-year-old hasn’t captured a point since the Italian Grand Prix in September and this weekend’s United States GP was no different.
"I can’t find any words other than ironic ones for the race - there was a lot of action around me but unfortunately in the wrong direction,” said Schumacher who had started from a strong fifth place in his penultimate Grand Prix. “To say that the race was a real struggle would be an understatement.”
The Mercedes driver was a sitting duck shortly after the race began as rivals overtook him left and right, consequently slipping down to 19th place by lap 16. He eventually finished in a lowly 16th position, uncharacteristic of his decorated career.
“I couldn’t get any grip from my first set of tyres, and there must have been some kind of damage for them to perform so badly,” he said. “We had to change our strategy to two stops which then compromised our race even further.
“All in all, it was much worse than expected, especially considering that things did not look that bad yesterday and Friday," he added.
Teammate Nico Rosberg finished 13th which meant Mercedes hasn't added to its tally in the last five races.