Haug to step down at Mercedes

2012 F1 season


Norbert Haug will leave Mercedes-Benz Motorsport “by mutual agreement” at the end of the year.

Haug has been in charge of Mercedes’ motorsport activities since 1990. They returned to Formula One as an engine supplier to Sauber in 1994, before switching to McLaren the following year.

The McLaren-Mercedes alliance won 78 Grands Prix in that time and clinched the constructors’ championship in 1998. Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton won a total of three drivers’ championships with Mercedes power.

Norbert Haug, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011Mercedes also supplied engines to the Brawn team for in 2009 which resulted in a doubt championship victory, before the outfit was rebranded as the works Mercedes team.

Mercedes scored its first victory as a full constructor since 1955 in China this year. Haug also oversaw successes in DTM and sports car racing during his time.

“I would like to thank the best car company in the world for more than 22 years, which never had a single moment without passion for me,” said Haug.

“I particularly wish to thank the board for the trust and freedom they have always given me with all my activities. Since 1991, we had tremendous achievements and wins, for which I want to thank all of my colleagues.

“Unfortunately, with one victory in 2012 since founding our own Formula One works team in 2010, we couldn’t fulfil our own expectations. However, we have taken the right steps to be successful in the future. Our team and our drivers will do everything to achieve these goals.”

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said: “Norbert Haug was the face of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport programme for more than 20 years. For me, he put his stamp on a whole era and, as a highlight, he was responsible for the successful comeback of the Silver Arrows to Formula One.

“In the name of the board of management and the whole motorsport family, I would like to thank Norbert for his extraordinary commitment to the three-pointed star.”

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65 comments on Haug to step down at Mercedes

  1. magon4 (@magon4) said on 13th December 2012, 15:32

    Lauda seems surprised.
    Marc Surer, commentator for Sky Deutschland and former F1 driver, seems to think Lauda knew and might have even influenced the decision. Lauda says he is surprised and shocked.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th December 2012, 15:46

      Remember Flavios performance in Singapore!

    • Lauda also dismissed rumors of him going to Mercedes shortly before he actually did. I would tend to believe Marc Surer in this case. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some sort of power play going on behind the scenes. It might be good for Mercedes, but only time will tell.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th December 2012, 16:20

    So now we must be all curious where Haug will turn up next in motorsport land …

  3. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 13th December 2012, 18:05

    Makes sense for somebody to move aside at Mercedes. With Lauda on board it was rapidly becoming a case of “too many chiefs.”

    I’m sure Mercedes will be fine, what with Lauda’s hilarious established pedigree at Jaguar.

  4. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 13th December 2012, 21:26

    I think this is rotten news. Norbert was an absolute stalwart of MB’s motorsport and really made their domestic DTM program sing. he was also highly involved in the MB F3 engine program and the Le Mans effort that brought drivers like Webber into F1. On a personal note, he was the only F1 luninary I ever met and he allowed me over an hour’s conversation in my rotten German and his not-so-good English.
    Last month Norbert turned sixty, so maybe there is some kind of MB executive policy that hands out gold watches when you reach that milestone. Personally, I hope they also hand out many millions of Euros to allow Norbert to enjoy his retirement and get involved in some non-MB grass roots racing.

  5. Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 13th December 2012, 23:21

    Putting Brawn in charge of the whole thing would be a pretty smart move.

  6. auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 14th December 2012, 0:28

    Shame to see him go but that team already has too many leading designers, engineers and folks who could easily become team principal of five different teams. Plus now they have Niki Lauda, some changes had to be made indeed. Hopefully Ross Brawn and his peers can turn things around at Mercedes GP.

  7. MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 14th December 2012, 23:31

    Guess this only goes to prove that Formula One is serious business when things dont go right. Even if you have a 2 decade long resume of successfully doing right by the corporation you work for and helping them become a well known motorsports name. Not just for us but for the common person as well.

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