Mercedes Not Paying for Schumacher's Contract
Soon after Daimler AG pulled their support from Team McLaren, some of the voices within the company's board of directors argued that this would have been a great opportunity for Mercedes to quit the sport completely. Instead, Mercedes bought more than 75 percent of Brawn GP and began its own new team in the series. Needless to say, the move was intensively criticized internally.
In addition to that “costly move”, as argued by a member of Daimler's supervisory board and Corporate Works Council Erich Klemm, the team then employed Michael Schumacher for an alleged 7 million euro retainer per season. Again, a supervisory board member Uwe Werner argued that the move was “hard to justify” in times of economic regression such as these.
Reacting to that criticism, Haug argued that the costs of a Formula One campaign will be reduced by approximately 60 percent next year, while suffering additional cut downs in the years to come. As for the Schumacher problem, the Mercedes official made it very clear that his salary is not paid out of corporate money, but sponsorship and FOM funds.
“Both statements do not take into account that with its own team, Daimler will next year be spending about 60 per cent less compared to the peak in 2005. With our new approach, within five years our costs have more than halved,” said Haug, in an interview with the SID news agency.
“In our Formula One team, the drivers' salary comes only from our sponsor partners and the commercial rights holder FOM, not from Mercedes-Benz,” added Haug, who also revealed that his team's budget for the next season is a double-digit million euro sum.