Haug exit caused 'by disappointing results'
14 December 2012 – Mercedes sport supremo Norbert Haug revealed that the reason behind his sudden departure from Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, announced on Thursday, was caused mainly by the disappointing results of the Stuttgart marque’s Formula One team.
Talking to German news agency SID, Haug explained in more detail the reasoning behind what he described as a ‘mutual’ decision by all parties involved.
“There is always somebody who has to accept the overall responsibility,” said the 60-year-old, who steps down after more than two decades at the helm of the constructor’s sport operations. “We have had our successes in the past three years, of course, but not consistently enough – so a direction had to be set and a marker laid down.”
“I got together with the Board after the season and we sought an amicable solution; we found it, and the talks were as fair as they have always been in the last 22 years.”
Since announcing its return to Formula One with an own team in 2010 for the first time since 1955, Mercedes only collected one win – this year’s Chinese Grand Prix – while McLaren, until recently co-owned by the German company, notched up 18 successes in the same three-year period.
Haug’s departure is not the only high-profile change for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton coming in to replace seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher for 2013 and Niki Lauda joining as non-executive chairman. And while the Austrian will take on some of the roles previously filled by Haug, the latter insisted this is not one of the causes of his departure.
“It is a decision the Board and I reached jointly, Niki had absolutely nothing to do with it,” stated Haug. “We get on and respect each other just like we have done for many years and that is not about to change.”