It seems that Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug aren’t quite speaking with one voice on the issue of a McLaren Mercedes driver pairing for 2010. While Whitmarsh tells the English speaking world Lewis and Heikki are the only people the Woking team have contacted, Haug has a very different message.
This report is based on a story from German website motorsport-total.com’s top writer Christian Nimmervoll, who also happens to be a top bloke. The translations of the following Norbert Haug quotations are my own. (But I stand by them!)
“Of course we are speaking with other drivers. I am talking to drivers. I know full well, who is on our radar. If that weren’t the case, then we wouldn’t be doing our jobs.
“We will decide on such-and-such a date – obviously a date which we will not make public – who will drive for us next year.”
And while we are busy stating the relatively obvious…
“At no point have we spoken with Fernando. I’m always talking to him, I send him a text message if he’s driven a good race for instance, but we’ve never talked about contracts.”
As for Heikki, well, it’s time for some good old-fashioned damning with faint praise.
“He did a better job (in Valencia) than at other races.
“He brought home his best result of the season. He did start from the front row. For sure, fourth place isn’t exactly what you’d expect in that situation, but it was his best result so far. To an extent, though, you always have to stand by your driver. In numerous races in the past we didn’t give him the best equipment. Anything more that we have to discuss will be discussed internally.”
What do you think, folks? Is the writing on the wall?