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The only thing I could see it being is what I said on previous threads about Mercedes.
Since buying Brawn they always seem to have been chasing the next big innovation (like the double diffuser on the Brawn) instead of concentrating on delivering a fundamentally good base car.
My point is, if it was Norbert that pushed them down this direction to try and get them straight to the top of the pack, then I could understand the decision. If not then who knows why. If it was not his decision on that direction, then surely Ross would have been a better candidate for taking the rap since, according to what I've seen in interviews, he was more responsible for putting the design team together.
Lauda just seems a strange choice for me (I appreciate his wealth of knowledge and all he achieved as a driver) but what does he bring to Mercedes, especially over a guy that has 30 years successful management behind him.
Perhaps Norbert was just cheesed off that his name was associated with such perf