There were multiple rumors making the rounds claiming that Mercedes forced Michael Schumacher to retire from Formula 1 back in 2012. After over 8 years, the then-Mercedes boss, Norbert Haug, finally dismissed all such allegations.
While speaking to Motorsport-Total, Haug declared that Schumacher planned his retirement on his own, and Mercedes had nothing to do with it.
“I know few rumors in the Formula 1 rumor mill that are actually true,” he said. “And that’s the way it is. Nobody sent him to retirement. That was a very clear process, controlled by Michael.”
Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2012 for the second time in his career. Prior to that, he retired post-2006 season while driving for the Ferrari.
But later, he made a comeback in 2010 when Mercedes entered F1 as a works team. After three decent seasons with Mercedes, the German spoke to the media announcing his retirement from F1 and cleared that he would not be making a comeback any time in the future.
Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton are equally good, Haug reveals
Ever since Lewis Hamilton started breaking the records that were previously held by the legend, debates were being raised on who was the better driver of the two.
Former Mercedes’ boss, Norbert Haug, opinionated that both the drivers are equally good. He also mentioned that the two had “utmost respect” for each other.
Haug felt that the margins would have been extremely small between the two in their prime form. “If they drove against each other in their prime, they would probably only be separated by a few thousands of a second,” he said.
Haug also pointed out the fact that both Hamilton and Schumacher “always treated each other with the utmost respect.” Haug added that he never heard the two drivers say “a bad word about the other.”
The 7-time World Champion ended his career in Formula 1 while driving for Mercedes. His seat was eventually handed over to Hamilton, who has managed 5 World Championship titles with them until now and is also on course to secure his sixth with the team.
(The quotes are translated from German using Google Translate)