Norbert Haug is to leave Mercedes-Benz at the end of 2012 after 22 years as the company’s head of motorsport.
The company said that “his contract will come to an end by mutual agreement with the Board of Management. Preparations for the forthcoming season continue as planned.”
The news comes a few months after Niki Lauda was made chairman of the board of the AMG Mercedes F1 team, a move that appeared to weaken Haug’s position.
Former magazine editor Haug joined Mercedes in October 1990, when the company was competing in the World Sportscar Championship with Sauber and Michael Schumacher.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars and CEO of Daimler AG, said: “Norbert Haug was the face of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport programme for more than 20 years. For me, he put his stamp on a whole era and, as a highlight, he was responsible for the successful comeback of the Silver Arrows to Formula One. In the name of the Board of Management and the whole motorsport family, I would like to thank Norbert for his extraordinary commitment to the three-pointed star.”
Haug added: “I would like to thank the best car company in the world for more than 22 years, which never had a single moment without passion for me. I particularly wish to thank the Board for the trust and freedom they have always given me with all my activities.
“Since 1991, we had tremendous achievements and wins, for which I want to thank all of my colleagues. Unfortunately, with one victory in 2012 since founding our own Formula One works team in 2010, we couldn’t fulfil our own expectations. However, we have taken the right steps to be successful in the future. Our team and our drivers will do everything to achieve these goals.”