DECEMBER 13, 2012
Haug stands down as Mercedes Motorsport boss
Norbert Haug is to quit as Mercedes Motorsport boss at the end of the month after 22 years in the job. Haug celebrated his 60th bithday at the recent Brazilian GP.
A Mercedes statement announcing Haug's departure said that it came as the result of of a "mutual agreement with the board of management."
Haug's position at Mercedes had been the subject of some speculation after Niki Lauda was appointed to a non-executive director position between the F1 team and the main Daimler board. The 63-year-old Austrian triple world champion also played a key role in persuading Lewis Hamilton to forsake McLaren for a new three-year contract with Mercedes.
Haug took up his role with the three-pointed star at the end of 1990 and oversaw the company's return to F1 as an engine supplier with Sauber in 1993. A partnership with McLaren began in 1995 , developing into a 40% ownership of the McLaren Group, a stakeholding that was recently sold back as Mercedes continued its F1 involvement as a works entity in its own right with the purchase of the Brawn team at the end of 2009.
Since then, however, despite the return of seven times champion Michael Schumacher, the team has won just a single race, Nico Rosberg's victory in Shanghai earlier this year.
Across DTM, Champ Cars, GTs, Group C and F3, however, Mercedes has won 439 of 986 races contested during Haug's reign.
"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," Haug said.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche commented: "Norbert Haug was the face of Mercedes Benz Motorsport. For me, he put his stamp on the whole era and, as a highlight, he was responsible for the successful comeback of the Silver Arrows to Formula One."