Merc remain coy about Schumi talks

Date published: June 27 2012

Mercedes bosses remain coy about contract talks with Michael Schumacher, but his professionalism in recent months has definitely impressed them…

Mercedes team bosses remain coy about contract negotiations with Michael Schumacher, but his professionalism in recent months has definitely impressed them.

Schumacher’s three-year deal runs out at the end of this campaign, but the team and the man himself have stayed pretty quiet about whether or not he will stay in F1 after this year.

With the German ending his podium drought during Sunday’s European Grand Prix at Valencia, some have suggested it may well speed up the negotiations.

However, Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug says Schumacher’s third-place is unlikely to have an impact on the timetable for the talks.

“It is a separate story and we will talk later about it with him,” he told Autosport in an interview.

“We should not be described as being over the moon, but scoring 23 points in Valencia [with Schumacher and Nico Rosberg] is a good result.”

Schumacher’s podium was no doubt a massive relief for everyone at Brackley as he picked up only two points during the first seven races of the season.

Despite his struggles, the seven-time World Champion kept quiet and got on with the job, much to the delight of Haug and company.

“Michael is a great sportsman, and this is even more demonstrated in his second career that he is really open, and open to critical questions,” Haug said.

“He is a really balanced guy, and a guy who everybody who could look up to because he did not criticise us, did not make any public noises, and he was genuinely pleased in Valencia.

“He could have said: ‘I won 91 races, why should I be happy?’ But he was genuinely pleased and it was wrong to say it was inherited. With one lap to go he was fifth, but I can tell you a lot of stories where he was fifth and things went against him. What we could see in Valencia was that the genuine speed was there.”

Haug added: “His lack of results this season are not down to the driver, and in fairness to him he could have definitely had in excess of 60 or 70 points if we would not have had technical issues – which would have been good for him and good for us in the Constructors’ Championship. We did not get it because we got it wrong.”