Firm has no plans to turn its back on the sport, despite disappointing in 2010

Mercedes has no plans to turn its back on Formula One and remains fully committed to the sport despite a disappointing first year back as a works team, company boss Dieter Zetsche has said.

Zetsche told news agency DPA that the team's distant fourth-placed finish in this year's championship was in line with expectations.

"On the one hand, we can't have expected more as a newly formed team," he said. "We would not have complained if we had won the championship, of course, but it wasn't a realistic expectation. We have been in F1 for some time and we're staying there for the longer term.

Read Autocar's F1 2010 season review with pics

"We don't want to be deciding each year whether we are in or out. And we didn't sign a one-year contract with Michael Schumacher, we signed for three years."

Seven-time world champion Schumacher failed to reach the heights he had set himself earlier in his career in his comeback year, but he did put in some strong performances towards the end of the season. Zetsche defended the German's performances.

"It is very difficult to put in an impressive performance with a less competitive car," he said. "First we have to give him the car to show us his capabilities. It is clear that the public, and also ourselves, expect us to be looking better than this year. One must, however, accept that in F1 - and in sport more generally - success is not reliably predictable. Otherwise, it would be dead boring.

Read Alan Henry's latest F1 blog on the 2011 entry list

Zetsche also conceded that the team would come under more scrutiny if it failed to deliver again in 2011.

"Absolutely," he said. "And that is the essence of our brand - we want to demonstrate our leadership in this industry to be the best. It's not arrogance, it is what is expected of us and what we are measured against. Of course this means that if we don't meet this standard, we are criticised. We have to bear that. But this is also evidence that we are trusted to deliver."

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Comments
7

2 December 2010

[quote Autocar]Zetsche told news agency DPA that the team's distant fourth-placed finish in this year's championship, which didn't contain any podiums for the team that won the title as Brawn GP in 2009, was in line with expectations.[/quote] Rosberg was on the podium in Malaysia and China and Silverstone...

2 December 2010

"Seven-time world champion Schumacher failed to reach the heights he had set himself earlier in his career in his comeback year

Zetsche defended the German's performances.

"It is very difficult to put in an impressive performance with a less competitive car," he said.

Rosberg managed it....

2 December 2010

"...which didn't contain any podiums for the team..." The word is "podia" not podiums, come on Autocar, I would've thought you'd know that!

2 December 2010

"On the one hand, we can't have expected more as a newly formed team," he said, affecting to have forgotten already the Brawn example the previous season.

2 December 2010

In hindsight they were always going to be in trouble this season, they had two new drivers and Brawn had spent most of the previous season ensuring that they won both titles and did not have the cash to develop the new car soon enough so that excuse will be gone for next year.

2 December 2010

What happened to the previous comments?

The ones about Rosberg getting podiums and decent performances in a poor car?

(Unlike his teamate)

2 December 2010

Richard H;

+1.

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