Former Mercedes Motorsport CEO Norbert Haug told Sport 1 about working with two seven-time world champions …
Norbert Haug: “When Michael won the seventh title, I was sure – this is a record for all time. But then Lewis began to win titles with Mercedes, it became clear that one day there could be seven or ten – and all of them will be deserved.
I am glad that I met Michael and Lewis at a time when they were just starting to engage in motorsport, but had not yet become professional athletes. I met Michael when he entered the Mercedes youth program. Then we were rivals for twelve years, when he played in other teams, always remaining friends, and at the end of his career he returned to Mercedes.
I worked with Lewis for 15 years. I remember his karting performance, his first Formula 1 victory when he won the Canadian Grand Prix, his first championship title in 2008. I remember his first win with the Mercedes factory team at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. Since then, the number of Silver Arrows wins has grown to three-digit numbers, and Lewis will soon have more than a hundred. An incredible achievement that deserves the highest praise.
Both of them – Michael and Lewis – completely devoted themselves to work. They were doing what they loved, to which they completely devoted themselves. They both went for the maximum and never gave up. They were always unhappy with the car and strived for more. Otherwise, you will not become a champion.
Michael was instrumental in creating a new version of the Mercedes factory team. Together with Ross Brown, they brought many victories to the team. In 2010, this team began to be born, in which many employees have been working since then, holding key positions.
At that time, after the financial crisis, we had a very small budget – and less than a third of the number of employees today. In 2012, Nico Rosberg won our first victory. Michael could have won the race if he had not come down due to an incorrectly installed wheel nut. After that, he showed the best time in qualifying in Monaco in a not the fastest car, demonstrating his skills.
Michael’s departure had nothing to do with the arrival of Lewis. Just by the time of his resignation, Schumacher should have turned 44 years old. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t win – he could have won another championship title after 2014, when hybrid turbo engines appeared.