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Q&A: Norbert Haug, Mercedes

Norbert Haug: The victory on Sunday will only push us to get even better...

Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug looks back at the Chinese Grand Prix, where Nico Rosberg took the victory for the team...


Q:
Norbert, yesterday's victory was an historic moment, and the first for a works Silver Arrow in 57 years. What does it mean?

Norbert Haug:
It's a reward for all our colleagues who have put in so much work and who never let themselves be distracted from their dream of winning races in F1. It's also the perfect example that you can achieve what you want to when the right conditions are put in place and you are totally committed to the direction you are heading in. Nico showed great class yesterday: it was a composed win, with an advantage of more than 20 seconds.

Q:
What were your emotions during the race and when Nico crossed the line?

Norbert Haug:
I was actually pretty calm - I had a good feeling and after a few laps, I was already thinking that we could get the job done. It was unfortunate that Michael retired because of an incorrectly attached wheel nut after his pit-stop - he had been running second and we could maybe even have scored a one-two. It was a great feeling as Nico took the flag - just pure joy for all the people who have worked so hard for this win.

Q:
And it wasn't just Nico - there were three Mercedes-powered drivers on the podium...

Norbert Haug:
Three out of three was like the cherry on top of the cake - you can't get any better than that. We have worked long enough with McLaren and also played our part in helping McLaren-Mercedes become what it is today. We raced and beat them fair and square - and they were the very first people to come and congratulate us.

Q:
Nico joined a very select club of drivers who have won a Grand Prix with a Silver Arrow. What can we expect from him now?

Norbert Haug:
Nico will be as good as we allow him to be. He showed as much yesterday. And Michael is driving to that level too, when his car allows him to.

Q:
And what thoughts did you have for Michael as he watched the race from the garage?

Norbert Haug:
It was a real shame for Michael - he had earned his place on the podium. But it will come, and now everybody who at some point criticised the decision can see how important, and how right, it is to have Michael Schumacher in our team. Michael has out-qualified Nico at two of three races this year, and Nico won yesterday. What's more, there's a nice trend to his grid positions so far in 2012: fourth in Australia, third in Malaysia, second in China.

Q:
You are a pure racer, Norbert. What do you make of the season far, with three winners from three races, and 17 drivers having already scored points?

Norbert Haug:
I think this could be one of the best F1 seasons of all time and harder fought than ever - and that makes our win even more special. The reigning world champion was little more than three tenths slower than the fastest car in second qualifying - and he had to start 11th. Rosberg started from pole with Vettel outside the top ten - it just goes to show F1's power to surprise.

Q:
Does the result change the team's objectives for this year?

Norbert Haug:
We want to continue improving, keep our feet on the ground and avoid making any unnecessary waves - there are already more than enough of those in F1. What I particularly liked was that the whole world joined us in celebrating the first win for our young team. Daimler spends less than half the sum on F1 than it did five years ago and we have nevertheless managed to build a winning team. The victory on Sunday will only push us to get even better.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.03.2012- Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief
25.03.2012- Race, Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief
15.04.2012 - Race Podium 1st Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03, 2nd Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27, 3rd Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 with Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief
15.04.2012 - Race, Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief and the winner of the race Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
15.04.2012 - Race, Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief and Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
15.04.2012 - Race, Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief

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