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Interview with Mercedes sports director Norbert Haug: & # 34; Don't think about failure and breaking & # 34;

Interview with Mercedes sports director Norbert Haug
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How do you feel as the most important and powerful man in German motorsport?
Haug: That doesn't matter, because there are no championship points for such predicates. It is important that we build a very good Formula 1 car for the new regulations for the 2010 Formula 1 season - if we can do that, we will be well positioned.

With the purchase you have of the world champion team Brawn GP and the commitment of the record champion Michael Schumacher landed two huge coups. Is that why Mercedes GP is doomed to win or even to win the title?
H aug: The desire to win grows with us always be greater than the duty to do so. And we are very excited. Please do not forget Nico Rosberg in your list - if we give him a car to win, then he will too.

What must you at least achieve that the season does not turn out to be a failure for Mercedes GP ?
Haug: Idle to speculate about it. The customer rightly expects Mercedes-Benz vehicles to be the best in comparison with the competition. We have to work extremely hard for our successes in Formula 1, and that is exactly our plan: We all in the team are working to the absolute limit day and night with the greatest enthusiasm.

There is a risk that Do teams like McLaren-Mercedes with the two world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button or Ferrari with double champion Fernando Alonso drive away and steal the show?
Haug: Of course there are Possibility and especially in the fiercely competitive Formula 1. McLaren-Mercedes, as the reigning world champion last year, was mostly to be found in the last third of the field during the first half of the season. In the last eight races - in the second half of the season - nobody got more points than Lewis Hamilton. The important thing is how quickly you stand up again and keep fighting if you get knocked out.

Isn't it a risk to have signed Schumacher for three years? There is no guarantee that after a three-year break and the consequences of an accident, he will physically get through the season and still have the same athletic qualities.
Haug: If this guarantee existed, no one would Formula 1 watch. Who would have thought that VfB Stuttgart would beat the reigning champions Wolfsburg after their preliminary round at the beginning of the second half? That succeeded withoutevery guarantee, but it succeeded - and only that is important.

Isn't Nico Rosberg threatening the role of the supporting actor in the oversized shadow of superstar Schumacher?
Haug: Not at all. Nico has found his ideal combination: He always wanted to be in the Formula 1 Silver Arrow and wanted Michael as a teammate - it might sound like a fairytale PR statement, but it is exactly the truth, so I can't tell you anything else.

How big do you estimate the risk that Rosberg will break up on Schumacher like many other teammates before?
Haug: We have different thought patterns. We don't think of failure and breakdown, but rather of the hardest work, full commitment and greatest success. And if we don't get there straight away, we're guaranteed not to rest until we achieve this greatest success. In the past twelve years, since our first title win with McLaren and Mika Häkkinen in 1998, Brawn, Schumacher and Mercedes-Benz together with their partner McLaren have won nine of twelve possible Formula 1 drivers' championships. But this is still not a guarantee for future titles.

Officially, there is no number 1 among the drivers at Mercedes GP. But in fact Schumacher has so far enjoyed a special status at Benetton and Ferrari. Should that be different for you of all people?
Haug: I am very sure that Michael did not win his seven titles because his teammates said or had the assignment 'I brake for Schumacher'. You cannot become number 1 in the team by 'ordre de mufti', but only through extraordinary performance. And that's exactly what I trust our two drivers to do if we give them a very good car - otherwise we wouldn't have signed one or the other.

With an allegedly seven million annual salary, the former record earner is Schumacher is a real bargain. How is it that - in view of his triumphs and his PR value - you were able to sign him so relatively cheaply?
Haug: Just this much: all employee salaries are paid at Mercedes GP Petronas - also that of the drivers - with the income from sponsorship money and money that comes from the commercial rights holder of Formula 1. Daimler AG and its premium brand Mercedes-Benz don't pay a cent. A significant, money-saving improvement over our previous system with McLaren when we paid for 50 percent of the driver's pay. And it is clear that if Mercedes does not pay anything, a Mercedes cannot be '200 to 300 euros more expensive', as I recently read according to a statement from an auto expert - but perhaps it was misquoted.

Does Nick Heidfeld still have a chance as a test and replacement pilot or do you rely on a young driver?
Haug: The decision in favor of our test and reserve driver is maturing, but is not yet complete. We will inform you as soon as this is the case.


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