Michael Schumacher has insisted he remains highly motivated going into this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, despite the continued uncertainty around his future.
Mercedes confirmed on Friday that Lewis Hamilton will replace Schumacher at the team in 2013, and the 43-year-old German has yet to reveal his own plans for next season, with speculation ranging from his retirement to a switch to Sauber.
"My motivation is completely intact after the news last week, especially because Suzuka is one of the season's highlights for me," said Schumacher, who has yet to win since returning to the sport in 2010 with Mercedes.
Some of Schumacher's greatest moments have come during previous races at Suzuka, not least him clinching Ferrari's first title in 21 years when he won the World Championship there in 2000. Schumacher said that he would like to notch up another historic moment in this weekend's Japanese GP, but accepts that his 10-place grid after colliding with Jean-Eric Vergne will make that a difficult objective.
"I enjoy the circuit – it has sections that challenge you as a driver like almost nowhere else," he aid. "Logically, it would also be nice to achieve a sporting highlight this weekend, although my chances are of course very limited because of my grid penalty. But I've always approached these things as a challenge."