Honda website
Honda website

JUNE 12, 2001

Haug defiant on Newey saga

MERCEDES boss Norbert Haug is unconcerned that two of Formula One's major names are about to begin what is sure to be a long drawn out battle for the services of McLaren design ace Adrian Newey.

McLaren-Mercedes will take on Jaguar Racing in the court rooms on Tuesday for the first official round of the Newey saga after spending much of last week firing out team statements countering each others claims.

Much is at stake for both teams as Jaguar claim to have secured Newey's services from August 2002 and McLaren insist he will remain their man, but although it involves two substantial car companies, Haug does not believe it is a business battle.

"I don't see it that way," he said. "It is not a matter of a battle between two automotive companies, but two teams, one team which is 100 per cent owned by Ford and another 40 per cent owned by DaimlerChrysler.

"So, it is basically not a battle of two corporations like that. It is between the two teams and I must say that I think that we didn't get it wrong. We got it right.

"I would much rather sit here now talking about how we tried to keep one of our best guys. That is normal. It is better than talking about why Adrian left us.

"Adrian has called me and he said 'I am happy to stay and you guys convinced me'. So, we did a good job in the end."

But that is far from the end, and the matter is now down to the courts to decide which team will be lucky enough to gain the man who has designed six championship winning cars in the last nine years.