F1 »

Haug admits Mercedes 'may have to change some people'

Norbert Haug acknowledges that unless there is a significant improvement in performance at Mercedes Grand Prix in F1 2011, then 'we may have to change some people'...
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug has conceded that should Mercedes Grand Prix continue to underachieve in 2011, 'we may have to change some people'.

As the reigning double F1 World Champions – having bought out Brawn GP last winter – Mercedes has endured a crushingly disappointing title defence this year, with not so much as a sniff of victory, just three podium finishes from the opening twelve grands prix and now having to fight a rearguard battle to stave off rival Renault for fourth spot in the constructors' standings rather than taking the fight to the likes of pace-setters Red Bull Racing, McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari ahead.

Having already ceased development on the underperforming MGP W01 in favour of shifting all efforts onto its successor, Haug has admitted that if the Brackley-based outfit is not back in the fight for world championship glory this time next year, then there will inevitably be consequences.

“We hope to return to success,” the German told Italian magazine Autosprint. “However, if we fail to achieve the goals we have set, we may have to change some people – that's the name of the game in F1.”

Whilst both Nico Rosberg and struggling F1 legend Michael Schumacher are not deemed to be in the firing-line, the latter's former sparring-partner Gerhard Berger has mused that the 91-time grand prix-winner is running out of options as he desperately seeks to make a success of his troubled comeback to top flight competition following three years away from the grid.

“You can't forget Michael is still a seven-time world champion, and we should all be happy that he is competing again,” the Austrian told Auto Motor und Sport. “However, in the last few races I haven't been pleased with him at all, as he has been taking more steps back than forward. He has tried several strange tricks to gain points, and they have all come to nothing. Maybe he is putting himself under too much pressure.

“The incident in Budapest with [Rubens] Barrichello was simply not on. Ten years ago that might have been seen as a normal move, and we could have all got up to things like that – myself included. However, there is absolutely no place in the sport for that now – pushing someone into the wall. With all of his experience alone, Michael must have known that.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Sunday, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Saturday Practice, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP F1 Team, MGP W01
Saturday, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP F1 Team, MGP W01
Friday Practice1, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP F1 Team, MGP W01
Friday Practice2, Norbert Haug (GER), Motorsport chief
Thursday, Norbert Haug (GER), Motorsport chief
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Martin Whitmarsh - Unregistered

August 19, 2010 4:52 PM

We were very happy to have Button with us this year,he is doing a fine job with the car and winning 2 races,(the same as Alonso)like wise i should think Mercedes are pretty happy to have the greatest driver ever driving for them.PS.we love their engines.

Jose - Unregistered

August 19, 2010 4:01 PM

@Norbert Haug ... Yes a 7 time WDC I was sure that we would see some racing out of the champ...well nothing a real Dog .. maybe if he turned off the cruse control he may get close to Nico...hine sight is nice, but did you really think this old champ would out perform Kimi.. NOT! Time for Shuey to cruse home and sit back with a cool one and count the good old days!! Face fact baby ...TIME FOR A CHANGE! He had a go at Rubins, looking like the Shuey of old.. Well he had the cruse control turned off for a little while, spookie to watch, (real Nuts) but thats Shuey. I think the change should be made NOW! What about quick Nick , he is German, right? Jose

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.