We have recently caught up with Mercedes GP Petronas’ Norbert Haug at an official 2011 Formula 1 test session held recently at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain.

The 58 year old German who played a vital role in the acquisition of the championship-winning Brawn GP in 2009 is a Board Member of the team as well as vice-president at Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

We exchanged a few words with the former journalist on the team which is in it’s second year in Formula 1, following its return in 2010 as a full-fledged team since 1956. Continue reading to check out the Q&A transcript.

What are your expectations from this season?

We have had our first year last year as you know and we ended up fourth in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship and our target is to go forward from there, to try to achieve a better result than last year.

So we are in the middle of a learning process so it may take a while but ultimately, we will come to the top. It depends on the competition, how quick they will go. We will make steps forward and we will introduce an upgrade before the start of the season. But you know it’s not possible to predict. If you are in a position to be able to predict the outcome of a race, then there would be no need to race.

So this is thrilling and no body knows who the winner will be, of course there are favorites. We are certainly not the favorites currently but after a while we will be. And we won in the past, Ross Brawn won in the past, Michael Schumacher won in the past, more races than anybody else so this is a good combination. Nico is very good and mature, talented driver and so the key ingredients are there.

What are Mercedes’ expectations from Formula 1?

You know it shows our willingness to compete, you know other manufacturers chose to be here for a couple of years, spent money and still failed to be successful. But if you look at our history since the new era in 1993 and since our first win in 1997 (in DTM), we have had a little more than 240 races and we won more than 70 of them. We also won a total of four World Championships. Brawn GP with a Mercedes engine won the Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championships, with Jenson Button. So this is a very successful campaign and we would like to continue in that direction.

Despite Toyota and BMW pulling out, Mercedes is getting info Formula 1. What is your opinion on that?

Yeah, but they never had a benchmark in Formula 1, so we try to compete with the best. We have a benchmark in the past. Brawn GP has been benchmarked, Michael Schumacher has been benchmarked, our engine has been benchmarked and our KERS has been benchmarked so we need to bring that all together.

We of course have a dramatic cut in the budget which is the right thing to do for the future. Spending a decent amount of money and getting success for it, but again, we work with less speed but this is the future of Formula 1. The resource restrictions will be in place for everybody. We are learning that. It will take a while but we will achieve our targets.

Are you in support of the budget cap?

Yes. It’s not a budget cap but it’s a resource restriction and we very much pioneered that idea because we need to be efficient. We need to send a sign to the outside world, Mercedes never will be seen as wasting money or spending too much money.

This is the efficiency and we want to have the best products. We have the best cars in the world, we sell the best cars in the world. We are very successful in these markets, also in Malaysia. In China, the S-Class for example is the most sold luxury car by far, and so this is going at the right direction.

Do you have a timeline target of winning a Formula 1 title?

As quickly as possible but this is dictated by the competition by the end of the day. But we will achieve it and we will do it step by step.

Currently you don’t have an official reserve driver as Nick Heidfeld now drives for Lotus Renault. Who could it be?

We were in discussions of course with Nick again, but we definitely would not stand in his way once he got the chance for a race seat. Well, I am sure we will find a good solution. We hope we do not need a reserve driver during the races but a good experienced driver can help us in the developments and so on.

What are Mercedes’ other plans in motorsport?

Well we helped a lot with the junior drivers in Formula 3. Lewis Hamilton won in Formula 3. Paul di Resta, Gary Paffett, Jamie Green, lots of champions that are in higher classes now. Half of the grid have been driving in Formula 3 Euro Series which is still a very good championship and we help and support young drivers and there is DTM of course.

In last the four years, compared to Audi we won 27 times and Audi won 15 times. We won the championship last year with nine victories against two victories from Audi. So this is a very successful campaign. Next year BMW will join as you know and hopefully we can have a race in Malaysia later on.

There are some rumors about Daimler’s intentions of increasing its stake in the team. Can you comment on it?

No we won’t comment on rumors. But we will inform you accordingly as soon as decisions are taken. We are fully committed in Formula 1 and we have the efficiency in place.

Not spending too much money but getting maximum results and we are sure that we will achieve that.