After more than 22 years as the head of motorsport at Mercedes-Benz, Norbert Haug’s contract will come to an end by mutual agreement with the automaker’s senior execs. His exit won’t have any effect on the 2013 motorsport season, preparations for which will continue as planned.
It’s not clear why Haug, 60, is leaving the post he’s held for more than two decades, and there’s been no mention of who will replace him.
There’s been speculation, however, that the recent appointment of Formula One legend Niki Lauda as the head of the Mercedes-AMG F1 Team’s supervisory board may have something to do with it. There have been suggestions that there are too many chiefs now running the Brackley-based F1 team (Ross Brawn is still a key player), and that change is long overdue.
In a statement, Haug conceded that with just one win since buying out the successful Brawn GP in 2010 and forming its own F1 team, Mercedes had failed to even meet its own expectations. That solo win was Nico Rosberg’s performance at the 2012 Shanghai Grand Prix.
Hopefully, with former McLaren ace Lewis Hamilton now with the team
, the 2013 season will be much brighter.
Despite the poor performance of late in F1, Haug’s reign as Mercedes motorsport chief has been relatively successful in other categories. In DTM, Mercedes teams won a total of 32 titles under Haug’s leadership. There have also been numerous wins in Champ Car, GT, Group C and Formula 3 racing.