Daimler Boss Confirms Mercedes' F1 Commitment
Needless to say, falling behind rivals Ferrari, former partners McLaren but, most importantly, privately-owned Red Bull Racing is not something that the Mercedes bosses were expecting when they decided to purchase the title-winning Brawn GP squad, especially since the buyout was heavily criticized from within the very Stuttgart-based organization.
Just when everybody believed Mercedes will choose the BMW way out of F1 and leave the series under economic turmoil circumstances, the German carmaker decided to have its own team in the series. And although they have struggled throughout the 2010 campaign, parent Daimler's CEO Dieter Zetsche said in an interview on Tuesday that Merc will continue its F1 involvement no matter what.
“We have been in F1 for some time and we're staying there for the longer term,” Zetsche was quoted as saying in an interview with Germany's DPA news agency. “We don't want to be deciding each year whether we are in or out. And we didn't sign a one-year contract with Michael Schumacher, we signed for three years,” he added, insisting that Schu's poor performances at comeback will certainly not cost him his seat for the upcoming 2 years.
“On the one hand, we can't have expected more as a newly formed team. We would not have complained if we had won the championship, of course, but it wasn't a realistic expectation,” said the Daimler CEO, while insisting that the team's drivers, both Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, should only be judged once they'll be handed title-winning cars.
“It is very difficult to put in an impressive performance with a less competitive car. First we have to give him the car to show us his capabilities.”
However, referring to the 2011 campaign, the German boss admitted that expectations are now higher and legitimately so, given the fact that the team has had plenty of time to develop a better car for next season. Which is why it's only natural that pressure will exist within the organization led by Ross Brawn.
“It is clear that the public, and also ourselves, expect us to be looking better than this year. One must, however, accept that in F1 – and in sport more generally – success is not reliably predictable. Otherwise, it would be dead boring.”
“Absolutely (there will be pressure). And that is the essence of our brand -- we want to demonstrate our leadership in this industry to be the best. It's not arrogance, it is what is expected of us and what we are measured against. Of course this means that if we don't meet this standard, we are criticised. We have to bear that. But this is also evidence that we are trusted to deliver,” concluded Zetsche.