McLaren 'as strong as it has ever been'
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde
||Tuesday, November 3rd 2009, 10:33 GMT
McLaren-Mercedes is as strong as it has ever been and there are no plans to end the relationship in the near future, according to Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug.
Although there has been reports that Mercedes-Benz is considering buying a majority stake in the Brawn GP team, Haug made it clear that the German car maker is fully committed to its partnership with McLaren.
Daimler, owner of Mercedes, has a 40 per cent stake in the British squad.
Haug says he sees no reason why Mercedes would look for a way out of its partnership, as he reckons that, after turning its 2009 season around, McLaren-Mercedes is at it best.
"There is a very firm decision that we have a long-term commitment with our partner McLaren," said Haug. "Rather than going into speculation, I have to point out that this team works better together than ever before.
"The guys did a remarkable job, we were really quite lost at the beginning of the season and internally we discussed, we need to be there at the home GP at the Nurburgring. We saw what happened.
"It is not like turning a switch and we are there, there was a lot of work and I think what was remarkable for McLaren and the chassis guys, a completely new style was adapted.
"This team was about testing, learning, evaluating, and you saw that when the truck comes to the races and brings the parts on Friday morning and you check and double check and make back-to-back tests there was a lot of work in the garage.
"The way these guys learned to anticipate what will happen, what will be the next tenth of a second and so on, I think this five/six months period was probably the best learning history in the history of McLaren, in the history of our team definitely, and it shows this team is stronger than ever.
"If you compare it to half a year ago, and you do an overlay of all team's performance, then we scored more points in the last seven races. We also lost some, like Monza and Nurburgring. This is a real important statement, this team is probably better than ever."
He added: "I think the relationship inside the team, inside the working, people here at the race track, is absolutely great and fantastic. We have had lots of difficulties, Australia and Malaysia, but coming out of that, and being there at the end of the season is just fantastic. This will continue.
"To discuss other issues and other options that are in the background that are internally discussed is not the right thing to do. No decisions are taken, the only decision that is taken is that we are firm here, partners, and our connected for a long period of time."
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh agreed that the working relationship between the two companies was in a great state.
"The only thing I would add is Daimler is a 40 percent shareholder, a very important shareholder and they have been a fantastic partner for 15 years and we are going to be together for a long time to come," Whitmarsh said.
McLaren finished in third position in this year's standings after winning two races, having endured a dismal start to the season.