Schumacher confirmed four weeks ago he would be retiring from F1 for a second time at the end of the season following Mercedes' decision to sign Lewis Hamilton on a three-year deal from next year.
But without a point from his last four races, these are dark days for the seven-times champion for whom the end probably cannot come quick enough.
Schumacher's Indian Grand Prix was over at the first corner as he collected a puncture to his right-rear tyre after being clipped by the front wing of Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso.
A slow return to the pits and a tyre change left him trailing by a distance at the back of the field from which he never recovered.
With five laps remaining, Schumacher pulled into his garage with a gearbox problem, and although classified 22nd, it was effectively his eighth retirement of the year.
To rub salt into the wounds, Schumacher saw the stewards post-race after being accused of ignoring blue flags - waved to backmarkers to allow the leaders by - but at least escaped without sanction.
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It all added up to an unhappy experience, which he is not anticipating will change.
Asked whether he felt he could end his F1 career on a high, the 43-year-old German said: "It would be nice, very clearly, but I'm not expecting it. Therefore I'm not very sentimental about it.
"As long as I can fight for top positions then I will do my job as much as I can and try to help and support the team and get things ready for them for next year as much as possible.
"But other than that, it's kind of a normal job."
Schumacher has now failed to score in 10 races this year, and with the retirements racking up, he added: "It's not a very good statistic quite honestly.
"It's 17 races we have done, eight retirements, so 50 per cent retirement. That's not a statistic I'm used to."
At the Buddh International Circuit, Schumacher knew his race was run after the first few seconds.
He said: "It was pretty unsatisfactory, and effectively over just after the start.
"I lost so much time getting back to the pits with the puncture that any hope of scoring points was gone.
"After that the pace was pretty good, but I was too far behind to make up more than a few positions.
"In the end, we had to retire the car for technical reasons."