Mar.21 (GMM) Norbert Haug on Friday admitted that Heikki Kovalainen was signed for 2008 only after McLaren-Mercedes' negotiations with German drivers all came to nought.
It was rumoured in the pre-season that Haug, Mercedes' competition chief, pushed hard for the British team to select from Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and Sebastian Vettel for the vacant race seat alongside Lewis Hamilton for this year."It is no secret that in the winter we spoke with German drivers," he told Bild newspaper."Nobody was free and now we are very happy with Lewis and Heikki," Haug added.Some listeners in Melbourne one week ago were similarly surprised when team boss Ron Dennis also seemed to freely admit that Kovalainen, a Finn, was not first choice to be Hamilton's teammate."We always have the best available drivers in our team -- and the key word is available -- and if drivers have existing relationships, we would never break them," the Briton said.