According to team boss Norbert Haug, Mercedes regards Michael Schumacher as an integral part of its push for success in F1. Currently, the seven time world champion is committed to the German marque – and his return to Formula One – only until the end of next season.
2012 will be the third year since Mercedes took over Brawn GP, with motor sport director Haug insisting that a push to the top of the sport takes longer than that.
“We are going to keep establishing our new Silver Arrows works team in Formula One,” he told Eurosport Deutschland.
“Our development and our learning will bring as upwards gradually, step by step, from the fourth power at the moment to third, second and ultimately to position number one,” added Haug.
“This can be achieved only through years of hard and focused work. The current world champions (Red Bull) took five years before their first success.”
And Haug insisted that Mercedes has the right drivers – Schumacher and his German countryman Nico Rosberg – for the project.
“We are completely satisfied with them, as once we give our drivers a winning car, they will win with it,” he said.
“Michael is a motivator through and through. He has a plan just as he had one at Ferrari, where he fought for five years for his first (Ferrari) title.
“He has the same bite as ever and remains one of the very best drivers in the field,” added Haug.