Haug admits to eyeing Schumacher alternatives

Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 20 July 2012.Sep.8 (GMM) Norbert Haug has admitted that Mercedes is eyeing possible contingencies, in the event that Michael Schumacher does not race the German team’s 2013 car.

“Of course we have to plan for all contingencies,” said Mercedes’ competition vice-president, amid raging speculation that Lewis Hamilton might sensationally switch from McLaren to drive in Schumacher’s place next year.

Haug is quoted by SID news agency as revealing that the team is conducting “open and faithful” talks with Schumacher.

And when asked about Hamilton, he added: “Lewis grew up with us (Mercedes) and with McLaren. We worked together even when he was 12 years old.

“But it is not possible to conclude from this that the current rumours have any basis.”

An outright denial sounds different. Indeed, Haug acknowledged the speculation.

“As long as seats are available, you have to deal with it. We do not spread the rumours, but we have to live with them,” he said.

The latest rumours were fanned by former team owner and now British television pundit Eddie Jordan, but McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh questioned their credibility.

“I think that any article that includes a sentence that begins ‘Eddie Jordan understands…’ is automatically questionable,” he told the BBC.

But Jordan’s television colleague David Coulthard, a former long-time McLaren driver, said the Irishman has earned more credibility than that.

“EJ has a reputation for being a bit outspoken but he has brokered more driver deals than almost anyone in the sport, has contacts all over the place and is friendly with Lewis’s manager, Simon Fuller,” he wrote in the Telegraph.

“I cannot recall him being wrong when he has stuck his neck out like this. He was right about Michael Schumacher coming back to the sport three years ago, for instance,” Coulthard noted.

So for now, the Hamilton saga is the talk of the Monza paddock.

“He looks so unhappy at McLaren – I think he will go,” an unnamed team principal told the Guardian.

Jenson Button, Hamilton’s teammate at McLaren, thinks the 2008 world champion would be mad to move.

“It wouldn’t hurt me as much as I think it would hurt him,” he said.

But as Coulthard surmised, no one at present really knows if Hamilton is staying or going. And “I’m not sure that he does either,” said the Scot.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Schmacher is Yesterdays News

    In other words this confirms Schumacher is gone after this year. The three year expierment has failed. Mercedes has seen Kimi and know that Schumacher just does not have it any more.

    Putting Schumacher in equal equipment has been his down fall. No longer does Schumacher and Braun have the 2 second per lap advantage Bridgestone tires they used to get at Ferrari that only Schumacher was allowed to have.

    The myth of Schumacher has been fully exposed and has shown Schumacher only won so much because of unfair advantages.

    Schumacher was supposed to be this great car developer but he has three years of imput on developing this Mercedes and he has failed. Again this just shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the 2 second a lap faster tires that Bridgestone provided to only Schumacher and Ferrari was his big advantage.

  • Fillipe Vasquez

    My God, ”Schumacher Is Yesterday’s News’ is a moron. What a shame that the Internet empowers people so ignorant.

  • RoyA

    @ “Schmacher is Yesterdays News” are you stupid or stupid? and why ppl like you are even allowed to contribute their idiot comment. Why dont you get a life and stop moaning? What MS did was use the rules to his advantage. Failing to do so by other drivers does not make him the one to blame. I beleive the last two years everybody was finding loopholes within the books and maximizing them. Wha are you talking about. Go watch Tom and Jerry and get a life.

    @ YallaF1, please make ppl like this dissapear. They are a disgrace to what comments should be about.