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Haug: We have to keep our feet on the ground
17 April 2012
Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug insists the team has to keep its feet on the ground despite securing a first win of the F1 season in Shanghai.
The victory for the first for the new-look Mercedes team, which was the first for the marque for 57 years in F1, came after a dominant showing from Nico Rosberg – who qualified on pole position and then made the most of his strategy to remain out front until the flag.
Both team and driver will hope that the success is the first of many after two seasons where results failed to match expectation but Haug insisted it was important for Mercedes not to get too carried away and to keep working hard to improve.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Haug was visibly moved by the victory when Rosberg crossed the line in Shanghai to secure honours but he insited that he had actually been calm while waiting for the victory to be secured.
“I was actually pretty calm,” he said. “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.”
Haug also took time to praise Michael Schumacher for the way he has helped the team push forward in the face of criticism over his decision to come out of retirement to at the start of 2010.
“It was a real shame for Michael - he had earned his place on the podium,” he said. “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.”
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