Haug admits McLaren eyeing 2010 driver change

The signs are growing that Nico Rosberg is set to move from Williams to the Mercedes-powered McLaren team at the end of 2009. Mercedes competition boss Norbert Haug speaks in ever more flattering tones about the 24-year-old, who is openly ...

The signs are growing that Nico Rosberg is set to move from Williams to the Mercedes-powered McLaren team at the end of 2009.

Mercedes competition boss Norbert Haug speaks in ever more flattering tones about the 24-year-old, who is openly assessing his options at the end of his current contract.

He admits he is keen to see a compatriot at the wheel of the so-called 'silver arrows', and McLaren figures have so far been non-committal when asked about Finn Heikki Kovalainen's chances of remaining at the team beyond this season.

"We must set ourselves up to win races and championships, and if this can be done with a German driver, all the better," Haug said in an interview with the SID news agency.

He admits that recent efforts have been made to unite the three-pointed Mercedes star with a German.

"In the past ten years we tried with Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel," said Haug, who has said in the past that only contractual hurdles thwarted deals being done with the latter two.

Rosberg, however, is a free agent for 2010, and Haug said in the interview that since debuting in 2006 the driver has "earned a Formula One ritterschlag (knighthood)".

Haug said the team is currently contemplating its next driver lineup but would prefer not to speak about those musings in the media.

"Perhaps our drivers will remain the same, perhaps they will change," he admitted. "At the moment I don't think there is large time pressure. It can be decided in the next couple of months."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Norbert Haug , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Williams