Mercedes slammed for anti-German driver policy

Wed, 2 January 2008, 02:23

A former formula one driver from Germany has hit out at Mercedes-Benz for not putting a countryman at the wheel of its works grand prix programme.

For the past fifty years, a German has not steered a works Mercedes in formula one.

In contrast, German rivals BMW have recently had three compatriots on the pay-roll; Nick Heidfeld and test drivers Sebastian Vettel and Timo Glock.

Michael Bartels, who failed to qualify for four races with Lotus in 1991, told the news agency SID that he does not understand the phenomenon.

“I can simply not fathom how a German make never gives a German driver a chance,” the 39-year-old, who races a Maserati sports car in the FIA GT championship, said.

McLaren-Mercedes’ silver cars this year will be raced by a Briton and a Finn, despite speculation linking two rising Germans with the vacancy that was recently filled by Heikki Kovalainen for 2008.

“Nico Rosberg could be gotten out of his Williams contract, and also Adrian Sutil would be a candidate for me,” Bartels observed. “Ralf, too; he is fast and has great experience,” Bartels added.

“It is a great pity that those in Stuttgart apparently think otherwise,” he said.

You may also like