Nov.30 (GMM) Former Mercedes boss Norbert Haug says there’s a historical fact about Formula 1 that he’d like to set the record straight about.
In 2010, the great Michael Schumacher abandoned his retirement to return to the grid for the first three years of the newly-formed Mercedes works team.
History has recorded that, at the ripe age of 41 in 2010, the seven time world champion was no longer as fast or focused as he had been in his ultra-successful initial F1 career.
Haug rejects that theory.
“In his last year, when many were describing him as no longer competitive, he took pole position in Monaco – the mother of all race tracks,” said the 71-year-old German.
“Anyone who was able to get to pole in that car had clearly lost absolutely nothing of their skills,” Haug told the ntv broadcaster.
“I heard so many people say back then that Michael was no longer his old self, but he certainly was.
“At first he didn’t know the tyres, he had only used the grooved tyres before that, it was even a different brand and now had had to use slicks,” Haug added.
Schumacher, then almost 44, returned to retirement at the end of 2012 – and almost exactly a year after that he suffered brain injuries whilst skiing with his son Mick in the French alps.
A decade later, the great German has still not been seen or heard from in public since then.
“I respect the wish that Michael’s health is a private matter,” Haug said. “And it’s always been like this – if there’s something I can contribute to help, then I’ll be there in a flash.
“A call, a message, and I’m off.”
Instead, the world of Formula 1 and global sport simply misses the now 54-year-old Schumacher – and one wonders if Mick’s F1 adventure would have been more successful if Michael had been at his side.
“Michael would have been a gifted manager,” Haug agrees.
“He was so precise and yet so funny and so much fun off the track.”