• Mercedes

Norbert Haug plays down tension at Mercedes

ESPNF1 Staff
January 22, 2010 « Viltaly Petrov offering €15 million for F1 drive | »
Nico Rosberg is happy with the Mercedes set up, according to competition director Norbert Haug © Sutton Images

Mercedes competition director Norbert Haug insists Nico Rosberg is happy to be Michael Schumacher's team-mate this year.

The recent news that Schumacher took Rosberg's designated race number (3) added to speculation that the seven-time world champion will become the team's No.1 this season. The rumour is based on Schumacher's close relationship with team principal Ross Brawn, after the pair worked together at Ferrari for 10 years and Schumacher received preferential treatment. However, Haug maintains there will be no hierarchy between the drivers at Mercedes and played down suggestions that Rosberg is unhappy with the set up.

"Nico has found his desired configuration," he told German news agency DPA. "He has always wanted to drive the Silver Arrows in Formula One, and have Michael Schumacher as his teammate. That may sound like a fabulous PR statement, but it is precisely the truth."

Haug added that Schumacher earned his No.1 status at Ferrari and would have to do the same at Mercedes if he expects similar treatment: "To be a team's No.1 is done only through extraordinary effort, and I trust that both of our drivers will give this, especially if we give them a very good car."

Nico Rosberg will be the first to get his hands on the new car at the group test in Valencia on February 1.