Norbert Haug is set to leave Mercedes-Benz at the end of 2012, after a successful 22-year career as head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
Under Haug’s leadership, Mercedes-Benz has featured in top-level racing as a constructor and engine supplier and enjoyed considerable success, including six Formula One World Championships – as engine supplier to McLaren and Brawn – and 32 DTM titles. The only apparent failure under Haug’s leadership has been the return of the Silver Arrows to Formula One as a constructor – in three years the Mercedes Formula One team has managed only a single victory and has never looked like challenging for the World Championship, despite having the services of technical genius Ross Brawn and legendary driver Michael Schumacher.
Despite the underwhelming performance of the Formula One team, Haug’s achievements at the helm of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport have been significant and have established Mercedes-Benz very much at the forefront of world motorsport.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of parent company Daimler AG, paid tribute to Haug, saying, “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.”
Norbert Haug took his opportunity to thank Mercedes-Benz for a long and successful association: “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. 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.”