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Norbert Haug to leave Mercedes


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#251 Paco

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 19:27

In my opinion, I think Schumachers unwillingness to sign the contract and lack of faith in what was coming down the pipe must have really upset the Mercedes board. Something had to be done and I don't believe signing Lewis is the wisest of moves and if Haug was responsible for that direction, then that might have been the reasoning.

The fact they brought online midseason the larger scale windtunnel and lead to confusing data suggests its probably already going impact there start in 2013 and thereby, leaving them on the backfoot and we've year over year if you start bad forget it and 2014 being a huge change, they'll just dedicate all there resources to it.


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#252 Paco

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 19:35

Bringing in Lauda was a joke, he's a figure from a bi gone era and his only useful purpose is:

1. To clean house, has the balls to do it.
2. A media distraction and will provide quotes to keep peoples eyes off the real problem behind the scenes.

Losing an upswing Schumacher, losing Haug experience and engine team experiences, design team of Willis and Costa, Brawn making repeated silly race strategy calls, Rosberg aka the new Trulli...

Tell me again what's promising about the 2013 Mercedes season. Hamilton, a driver IMO that hasn't shown any real ability to bring a team together and causes friction at best..

Sounds like the perfect storm.. Maybe Bernies comments about wanting a smaller grid is foreshadowing what's to happen of MGP in 2015...

#253 Rasputin

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 19:39

Brawn's message to Michael over the radio in Singapore would be his dying words as Zetsche takes him down.

"What are you doing! What are you doing!"



#254 BoschKurve

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 19:46

Bringing in Lauda was a joke, he's a figure from a bi gone era and his only useful purpose is:

1. To clean house, has the balls to do it.
2. A media distraction and will provide quotes to keep peoples eyes off the real problem behind the scenes.

Losing an upswing Schumacher, losing Haug experience and engine team experiences, design team of Willis and Costa, Brawn making repeated silly race strategy calls, Rosberg aka the new Trulli...

Tell me again what's promising about the 2013 Mercedes season. Hamilton, a driver IMO that hasn't shown any real ability to bring a team together and causes friction at best..

Sounds like the perfect storm.. Maybe Bernies comments about wanting a smaller grid is foreshadowing what's to happen of MGP in 2015...


I like the way you think Paco.

People forget what Lauda did to Jaguar 10 years ago, and the 8 figure payday he got from running that ship right into the ground. No one in their right mind would bring Lauda in unless they were looking to maybe lay the groundwork to roll up this operation for good in a few years.

I'm certain Michael wanted to drive again in 2013, but his hesitancy to commit was based on the continually under-performing cars that Mercedes kept rolling out. He looked like he had quite enough of the whole thing by September, and who could blame him? All this time it's never been clear as to who is actually running this team. Sure in theory Brawn is running it. Yet there's nothing going on there that says anything other than this team is a rudderless ship adrift in a large sea.

Good catch on the race strategy calls...Ross continues to be extolled as the master strategist to have in F1. When you look back to the Ferrari years, and what some are doing now, you notice how the Frenchman is running the FIA...and Ross is well, just fielding a subpar F1 team?

#255 BoschKurve

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 19:47


:up:

That's a great film. I haven't watched in awhile, but I think I may rewatch it later.

#256 Rasputin

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 19:58

Lauda has not been constructive in any way since his Ferrari-days, walking out on Brabham in late 79 and leaving them with then rookie NelsonPiquet, nursed to a phoney 84 title and spending most of his time with "Jaguar" at Ibiza with Eddie Ervine. Then bullshitting everyone and everything on RTL and now this mysterious assignment which nobody seriously seem to understand?

This entire set-up spells disaster in block-lettering if you ask me.

#257 BoschKurve

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 20:01

Lauda has not been constructive in any way since his Ferrari-days, walking out on Brabham in late 79 and leaving them with then rookie NelsonPiquet, nursed to a phoney 84 title and spending most of his time with "Jaguar" at Ibiza with Eddie Ervine. Then bullshitting everyone and everything on RTL and now this mysterious assignment which nobody seriously seem to understand?

This entire set-up spells disaster in block-lettering if you ask me.


What was funny was when Lauda walked out on Ferrari towards the end of the '77 season...then showed up at Monza in '78 with Brabham for testing before the season, then proceeded to get booed by the tifosi. The celebrations that happened when Gilles beat his best time in the BT46 was hysterical.

Maybe Lauda is at Mercedes to try and get the Parmalat logo slapped on the side of the W04?

#258 Paco

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:43

I like the way you think Paco.

People forget what Lauda did to Jaguar 10 years ago, and the 8 figure payday he got from running that ship right into the ground. No one in their right mind would bring Lauda in unless they were looking to maybe lay the groundwork to roll up this operation for good in a few years.

I'm certain Michael wanted to drive again in 2013, but his hesitancy to commit was based on the continually under-performing cars that Mercedes kept rolling out. He looked like he had quite enough of the whole thing by September, and who could blame him? All this time it's never been clear as to who is actually running this team. Sure in theory Brawn is running it. Yet there's nothing going on there that says anything other than this team is a rudderless ship adrift in a large sea.

Good catch on the race strategy calls...Ross continues to be extolled as the master strategist to have in F1. When you look back to the Ferrari years, and what some are doing now, you notice how the Frenchman is running the FIA...and Ross is well, just fielding a subpar F1 team?


Thanks for the Jaguar reminder! I totally forgot all the BS after Steward released control of team. Miss that tartan scheme livery.

#259 garoidb

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:56

With Haug gone, it takes away perhaps the only obstacle to removing Brawn if need be.

What Mercedes problem is based on a few things I've heard is an organizational problem. There are too many chefs in the kitchen so to speak. Given how ego-driven engineers can be, there needs to be someone laying the law down in one form, or another. There must be specific direction this team has to go, and needs to be led to. I believe leadership is quite non-existent here.

As far as Lauda goes, if I worked for MGP, with Lauda's arrival, I'd be looking for a new job right now. I don't trust Lauda, and feel he will do more harm than good.


OK, but the big question for me is how they keep Lewis happy? He must have some get out clauses in his contract about team performance (likely to be ambitious, possibly unrealistic, IMO). I can't believe he would be locked in to Mercedes no matter what happens, and I'd have thought Brawn's experience was a source of confidence to him. Total speculation on my part, of course but Lewis is one their main assets and I imagine he has been persuaded that the main structure of the team has already been reformed and is getting ready to start winning. Going back to the drawing board after a year, say, would be worrying.

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#260 Deluxx

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:04

Wow. I cannot wait these few months to see how it goes.

#261 Sakae

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:25

Lauda has not been constructive in any way since his Ferrari-days, walking out on Brabham in late 79 and leaving them with then rookie NelsonPiquet, nursed to a phoney 84 title and spending most of his time with "Jaguar" at Ibiza with Eddie Ervine. Then bullshitting everyone and everything on RTL and now this mysterious assignment which nobody seriously seem to understand?

This entire set-up spells disaster in block-lettering if you ask me.


It is hard to ignore Lauda's record in F1 related business as a manager, but then elevating he into a position with Mercedes begs a one interesting question, namely WHY? Hasn't Mercedes executed due diligence and his record escaped them, and if they were aware of it, why it is not a warning red light for them? Answers might emerge later, but on speculative level, I think his engagement is most likely only for a short term, and it could be a pay-back for go-between during recent CA negotiations.
Lauda’s real role at Brackley is puzzlement yet to be untangled. Take his statement, if we are to believe it as being truthful, that he didn’t know that Haug was resigning. Implications are two-fold then; either Haug really resigned without letting “his friend” Nicky on it beforehand, or, the Board simply ignored Lauda, “fired" Haug without even talking to their director, thus reasserting they are the real powers to be at this organization, and Lauda’s role is reduced to identification of issues in hand at the front-line of F1 operations, and ensuring that they are resolved in 2013. How, that is a movie we are yet to see.

Edited by Sakae, 20 December 2012 - 09:28.


#262 Red17

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:31

It is hard to ignore Lauda's record in F1 related business as a manager, but then elevating he into a position with Mercedes begs a one interesting question, namely WHY? Hasn't Mercedes executed due diligence and his record escaped them, and if they were aware of it, why it is not a warning red light for them? Answers might emerge later, but on speculative level, I think his engagement is most likely only for a short term, and it could be a pay-back for go-between during recent CA negotiations.
Lauda’s real role at Brackley is puzzlement yet to be untangled. Take his statement, if we are to believe it as being truthful, that he didn’t know that Haug was resigning. Implications are two-fold then; either Haug really resigned without letting “his friend” Nicky on it beforehand, or, the Board simply ignored Lauda, “fired" Haug without even talking to their director, thus reasserting they are the real powers to be at this organization, and Lauda’s role is reduced to identification of issues in hand at the front-line of F1 operations, and ensuring that they are resolved in 2013. How, that is a movie we are yet to see.

It's hard to get inside a board's member head. When I first read the headline I thought Haug was simply retiring after many years.

I was actually surprised he was sacked. For all we know this could be one of those turnarounds that happen in big companies from time to time or indeed Haug quit on his own.

BMW sacked Mario as well, but they did it in a much quieter way. Haug deserved a better outing than this «mutual accord» scenario, plus he was pretty much the oposite of the metal cold german, a colourfull character.

If Mercedes starts to win again then the board will be complimented for doing a good cleaning. If it fails people will ask why they sacked Haug who has quite a good number of sucesses under his tenure.

#263 BoschKurve

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 13:18

OK, but the big question for me is how they keep Lewis happy? He must have some get out clauses in his contract about team performance (likely to be ambitious, possibly unrealistic, IMO). I can't believe he would be locked in to Mercedes no matter what happens, and I'd have thought Brawn's experience was a source of confidence to him. Total speculation on my part, of course but Lewis is one their main assets and I imagine he has been persuaded that the main structure of the team has already been reformed and is getting ready to start winning. Going back to the drawing board after a year, say, would be worrying.


I do think Lewis has an opt out clause or two as you mention regarding team performance.

The easiest way to keep Lewis happy is to give him a car that he can, and does win races with. If the W04 is a garbage car as seems likely, then Lewis is probably going to start getting more, and more sullen in his interviews. We'll know what his happiness level is by midseason. If he is openly sniping at Brawn and the team, then I will have serious doubts about him even being there in 2014. It's easy to leave McLaren, but regardless of all of the problems/complaints he had, if he was serious about winning races, he'd have just stayed there. I do agree with you that he must have been told some song and dance about the state of things at Mercedes, because his move there makes absolutely no sense to me. If McLaren was performing horrifically, it'd have made way more sense. They let him down in 2012, but were it me, I wouldn't have left.

#264 SpaMaster

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 14:42

That may very well be the case, but does not matter from the Daimler board perspective.
Haug, was "Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport", a director on the Daimler board, and his resort was Motorsport.
Whatever happens in his resort, will be his responsibility. He appointed Brawn to get the job done, if Brawn does not get the job done, then it falls back to Haug, because Brawn was "his man".
As things don't go the way they were intended to go, Haug's position was under pressure.
He may took the fall, to buy his men (Brawn, Fry etc.) and his idea (MGP) a bit more time to come good, or he maybe just got out before the whole thing blows up - that is open to speculation.

It's worth to remember, that Zetschke's contract as CEO of Daimler runs out next year, and in the moment things don't look too good.
So his head is on the block too, so to speak. F1 may not be his biggest hassle, but it's very much in the public face, so any bad news PR does not help.

Haug got Daimler committed to that adventurer, he laid out the plan, set the goals defined the roadmap and milestones (time frame, results, costs, risk, exit strategy etc.). Based on his proposal, he got the o.k. from the board to go ahead.
After this he is on his own. If he fails to hit his targets, whatever they may be, he is in hot water.
Who down the line is to blame, Brawn, the drivers, the windtunnel, the head aerodynamist, the engineers, the tea lady etc. , does not matter for the Daimler board.
It's Haug's job to get the job done, and best on time and within budget.
If he set himself unrealistic targets, that's bad, but who is to blame for it?

Yes, I understand this point of view. But does he really have any control on Brawn? He could not have fired Brawn. He could not have chosen anyone other than Brawn. But, ok I can see him held responsible after convincing Mercedes board to get in to F1 (if he did that).


#265 Szoelloe

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 15:54

Yes, I understand this point of view. But does he really have any control on Brawn? He could not have fired Brawn. He could not have chosen anyone other than Brawn. But, ok I can see him held responsible after convincing Mercedes board to get in to F1 (if he did that).


Is it a question of control over Brawn? I mean, apart from the dumbies snarling for Brawn's blood, his sacking was not an option atm. Presumably this was the solution that hurt the team the least.


#266 Sakae

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:05

I have really never seriously considered that Brawn should be replaced, but now, after Haug's imminent departure when I am hearing suggestions that Brawn is perhaps above reproach, I think about that as one big BS. Ross is the guy as far as public knows, who runs operations at underperforming Brackley, he is the one who placed certain personnel in charge of track operations that went bad one time too many, the design team that made some mistakes that killed a season or two, if not three, and everyone is replaceable; perhaps we should remember that.

#267 SpaMaster

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:05

Is it a question of control over Brawn? I mean, apart from the dumbies snarling for Brawn's blood, his sacking was not an option atm. Presumably this was the solution that hurt the team the least.

But is it a solution? It just looks like some head had to roll. Some punishment needed to be meted out to someone for their poor showing over three years. But how rational it is - I am not sure. In reality, a decision such as this lacks direction and conviction. Is it a wrong decision to enter F1, then why hire Hamilton? If you want to wait and see how Hamilton hire goes, what's the need to relfect in the middle? You might as well wait and see how the one final push goes.

#268 Deluxx

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:14

I read somewhere that they stopped developing the '12 car to work on '13-'14... Was that any truth or just rumors? Because thats a pretty ballsy move to just up and stop developing your car mid season... Maybe that had something to do with it

Edited by Deluxx, 20 December 2012 - 16:14.


#269 BoschKurve

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:27

I have really never seriously considered that Brawn should be replaced, but now, after Haug's imminent departure when I am hearing suggestions that Brawn is perhaps above reproach, I think about that as one big BS. Ross is the guy as far as public knows, who runs operations at underperforming Brackley, he is the one who placed certain personnel in charge of track operations that went bad one time too many, the design team that made some mistakes that killed a season or two, if not three, and everyone is replaceable; perhaps we should remember that.


What I don't really get with Brawn is he worked under two tough team principals in Flavio Briatore and then Jean Todt. It seems like he learned nothing from either men who really whipped their teams into performing. If anything, you would think at least all the time spent with Todt might've rubbed off on Ross?

#270 Clatter

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:28

I read somewhere that they stopped developing the '12 car to work on '13-'14... Was that any truth or just rumors? Because thats a pretty ballsy move to just up and stop developing your car mid season... Maybe that had something to do with it


They did the same the last 2 years and it hasn't helped.

#271 Szoelloe

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:46

But is it a solution? It just looks like some head had to roll. Some punishment needed to be meted out to someone for their poor showing over three years. But how rational it is - I am not sure. In reality, a decision such as this lacks direction and conviction. Is it a wrong decision to enter F1, then why hire Hamilton? If you want to wait and see how Hamilton hire goes, what's the need to relfect in the middle? You might as well wait and see how the one final push goes.


In a corporation this size? Of course it is. this is not Red Bull, with basically a single owner. They have share-holders, whining about bad PR if nothing else, and if the board decides for whatever reason that something has to be done, than something will be done. Also, just because everyone liked Haug, doesn't mean the decision was not fair. I am not saying it is, but still. On the other hand, if you are trying to rationalize Haug's departure as a solution in making the team more successful, or not, than you're at a dead end. The team was, and is run by Brawn. Mercedes for the past two years, were pretty much unsuccessful in motorsports as a whole. That was all Haug's responsibility, not only F1. If he himself felt that after 22 years, it has become too much to handle, than it is entirely possible that they indeed came to a mutual agreement on his departure it can even be a relief. We don't have a clue about the real specifics of his departure. And I don't think he will be living on dry bread and water and a petty pension form now on either.

edit: one more very important thing: He was NOT replaced. His function as it was ceased to be. It was definitely NOT a classic sacking.

Edited by Szoelloe, 20 December 2012 - 16:49.


#272 Szoelloe

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 18:41

They did the same the last 2 years and it hasn't helped.


I don't think so, and even if that would be true, they have developed, recruited, and restructured the whole design team in the past 18 months. The team that has worked on the W03 became practically nonexistent with the mid-season sacking of Bigois. Basically, everybody is 'new' in key design roles, especially in the aero department, where they heavily lacked performance, they upgraded the windtunnel to 60% mid-season, which didn't help. Its next year when we can draw a real conclusion on their performance. If they suck like this year, I will agree with you, because I will have to, though.


#273 garoidb

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 18:55

I don't think so, and even if that would be true, they have developed, recruited, and restructured the whole design team in the past 18 months. The team that has worked on the W03 became practically nonexistent with the mid-season sacking of Bigois. Basically, everybody is 'new' in key design roles, especially in the aero department, where they heavily lacked performance, they upgraded the windtunnel to 60% mid-season, which didn't help. Its next year when we can draw a real conclusion on their performance. If they suck like this year, I will agree with you, because I will have to, though.


Perhaps. Well funded teams that are underperforming would usually be expected to bring in new people to try to strengthen their hand. The fact that this is being done does not in any way mean it is likely to work, though.

#274 Clatter

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 18:56

I don't think so, and even if that would be true, they have developed, recruited, and restructured the whole design team in the past 18 months. The team that has worked on the W03 became practically nonexistent with the mid-season sacking of Bigois. Basically, everybody is 'new' in key design roles, especially in the aero department, where they heavily lacked performance, they upgraded the windtunnel to 60% mid-season, which didn't help. Its next year when we can draw a real conclusion on their performance. If they suck like this year, I will agree with you, because I will have to, though.


Will be interesting to see if there is any improvement, but there is already the excuse in place that 2014 is when it will come together and that was based on having a perceived advantage with the new regs, that have been scrapped. Whilst past performance is not a perfect indicator of what is to come, they do seem to make the same sort of mistakes each year, and it would be difficult to be overly optimistic at this time.

#275 Szoelloe

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 19:11

Will be interesting to see if there is any improvement, but there is already the excuse in place that 2014 is when it will come together and that was based on having a perceived advantage with the new regs, that have been scrapped. Whilst past performance is not a perfect indicator of what is to come, they do seem to make the same sort of mistakes each year, and it would be difficult to be overly optimistic at this time.


I would very much like to sidestep even the hint of optimism. :lol: I don't really have illusions about what to expect. If they show signs of improvement, and have a steady development rate on a(I expect) fresh design, I'd not be pissed. Rooting for them was not very rewarding(!) the past three seasons. I'd say the elements are in place now, and if they can't make that work with these drivers, >>>recycle bin.


#276 Number62

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 19:51

What I don't really get with Brawn is he worked under two tough team principals in Flavio Briatore and then Jean Todt. It seems like he learned nothing from either men who really whipped their teams into performing. If anything, you would think at least all the time spent with Todt might've rubbed off on Ross?


In 1993 Jean Todt joined Ferrari as TP
In 2008 Brawn joined Honda

Barely a year later JT won the first Ferrari race for 4 years
Barely a year later Brawn won the Word drivers championship

After 3 years JT broke the bank to secure the pre-eminent driver of the day
After 5 years Brawn broke the bank to secure (one of) the pre-eminent driver of the day

After 7 years JT managed a period of dominance
After 7 years Brawn managed..........?

You sure he learned nothing?