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Mercedes not looking for Schumacher replacement – Haug

Michael Schumacher is “definitely not” considering abandoning his return to formula one after a single season.

That is the continued insistence of Mercedes’ Norbert Haug, after the German marque’s competition boss recently confirmed that Schumacher “will go for the title” in 2011.

The seven time world champion’s lukewarm return so far has been much criticised, but Haug insists that he is the best possible teammate for Nico Rosberg.

As for rumours that a different driver will be alongside Rosberg in the next Mercedes car, Haug told DPA news agency: “Definitely not.

“As soon as we have a winning car then he will look for victories, just like Nico Rosberg will,” said the German.

Haug defended Schumacher’s recent performances.

“Michael finished in fourth place twice in the last six grands prix.  That’s not much for Schumacher or Mercedes standards but it’s a lot when you consider what was possible in these races.”

And he said the 41-year-old should not be ashamed to be 54 points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ standings.

“Nico is one of the best around.  Who knows, he could even be the best of them all,” said Haug.

“We will make it to the very top,” he promised.  “We know what it takes to win races; we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.”

In the context of his three-year retirement that began at the end of 2006, Schumacher also said he is satisfied so far.

“I am at a level that allows me to be happy,” he is quoted by Welt newspaper.  “Apparently, some others are not so happy, but that’s their position.”