Haug plays down reports of Merc talks

Wed, 28 October 2009, 12:27

Oct.28 (GMM) Norbert Haug has played down but not denied reports that Abu Dhabi will this weekend stage crucial talks about Mercedes’ changing approach to formula one.

Reports this week said the German carmaker’s chairman Dieter Zetsche and other officials will be at the Yas Marina Circuit not only to discuss ramping up the collaboration with Brawn, but also dismantling the one with long-time partner McLaren.

Haug, Mercedes’ competition director, said in a telephone conference call that there was “nothing new to say” except that the marque has “options (about) how we present ourselves in formula one”.

“There are no signatures,” he confirmed, pointing out that the presence of Daimler officials in Abu Dhabi is not unusual, since the group is 9.1 per cent owned by a government investment arm.

Haug also referred to the exclusive contract with McLaren, which extends through 2011.

“If we want to do something McLaren has to agree and when McLaren want to something we have to agree,” said the German.

“I can only assure you that we have a long term-basis association. Everything else is speculation about which we do not comment.”

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