Mercedes explains Ilmor takeover

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss Norbert Haug has explained the philosophy behind his company taking a controlling interest in Northamptonshire-based F1 engine supply partner Ilmor Engineering

Mercedes explains Ilmor takeover

Haug said at Indianapolis: "First of all, F1 needs full commitment from a manufacturer these days and this was a long-term plan established quite a while ago. We have a parallel, for example in the road car sector with AMG, which was exactly the same principle.

"We first of all had to decide that we had a long-term commitment to F1 and this decision was made positively quite a long time ago. And then we decided to fully concentrate all our resources together. It is a manufacturers championship at the end of the day.

"I think it is the way to go for Mario Illien as well. Roger [Penske] and Liz Morgan [widow of the late Paul, Ilmor's co-founder] all agreed and it is a big help for Mario. He can concentrate on the things he does best and doesn't have to worry about administration, car parking spaces or the canteen!

"I think we have to bring industrial processes into the manufacture of an F1 engine, including closer quality control. We, as a premium car manufacturer, have to have a premium engine and I think it's fair to say that we have made great steps since the beginning of the season, although we should have started a little bit earlier.

"I think that the talent is there and if we introduce these processes now, I am very convinced that we can do a benchmark job in F1. It may take a while but the important thing is that our company is fully committed. We were the best in 1998-'99 and we want to go back to that.

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