Former Mercedes govt Jurgen Hubbert, a key participant behind the marque’s transfer into the DTM and Components 1, has died on the age of 81.
It was on Hubbert’s watch that Mercedes joined forces with McLaren, making a partnership that will win two World Championships with Mika Hakkinen in 1998 and 1999, and a 3rd with Lewis Hamilton in 2008.
“Deeply saddened to listen to the information of our pal and member of the family Jurgen,” Hamilton famous in an Instagram put up.
“He was such a racer at coronary heart and I loved our chats and his enthusiasm [for] racing. His dedication to Mercedes and the group over time was inspiring.”
Born in 1939, Hubbert graduated in engineering from the College of Stuttgart in 1965, and he joined Daimler-Benz that 12 months.
He moved by means of the ranks rapidly, holding numerous senior roles on the Sindelfingen plant, and by 1987 he grew to become a deputy member of the board of administration of Mercedes automobiles.
On reviewing the state of the corporate Hubbert determined that motorsport was the best way ahead. Mercedes had not absolutely embraced an official involvement in racing since 1955, so it was an enormous step.
“Once I regarded on the state of affairs the corporate was in it grew to become clear to me that we had bought ourselves into some difficulties,” he famous in 2018.
“Resulting from an ongoing inside debate, we had been neglecting our automobiles. The main target was on changing into an ‘Built-in Expertise Group.’
“I hoped that we may polish up the picture of the model via motor sport actions. I remembered the Nineteen Fifties, after I was nonetheless at college and took a full of life curiosity within the sport, and I additionally regarded again to the Nineteen Thirties.
“There have been all the time instances when the corporate was not doing all that nicely and it was motor sport that gave the model an additional push.
“It had labored on these events, and I had one thing like that behind my thoughts.”
Mercedes grew to become formally concerned with the revamped DTM in 1988, in parallel with rising assist of Peter Sauber’s World Sportscar Championship group.
That morphed right into a full works Silver Arrows effort – and introduced the marque titles in 1989 and 1990, together with a Le Mans win within the former season.
With a return to Grand Prix racing on the horizon Hubbert employed former journalist Norbert Haug to move up the motorsport programmes.
Nonetheless, the plan to maneuver into F1 with Sauber-run works group – which might have concerned Michael Schumacher – was shelved.
However Mercedes nonetheless gave the Swiss outfit low-key assist in 1993-’94, earlier than changing Peugeot as McLaren’s engine companion in 1995.
“It did not work out in any respect,” Hubbert recalled. “We simply went from one setback to a different. Vehicles by which the engine blew up on the house straight on the penultimate lap – and in entrance of huge audiences.
“Then in 1997, Ron [Dennis] stated, ‘It is coming, it is coming! You may scent it!’ And I believed, ‘What’s he on about?’
“After which we gained in Australia. That was 1997 – the primary Mercedes win – with David Coulthard on the wheel. And subsequent 12 months, we completed as World Champions.”
Hubbert took on a extra senior administration function inside Daimler whereas additionally changing into a robust determine behind the scenes in F1. He was one of many key gamers behind the GPWC, the aborted try by the producers to interrupt away from Bernie Ecclestone.
He continued to be a giant supporter of McLaren even after his retirement in 2004.
Throughout his tenure with Mercedes he had a huge effect on its highway automobiles, overseeing the introduction of the A-class, M-class and CLK, in addition to the start of the Sensible automotive vary.
He additionally discovered time to pursue a tutorial profession, educating engineering on the Technical College of Karlsruhe.
Paying tribute to his contribution present Mercedes and Daimler chairman Ola Kallenius stated: “Jurgen Hubbert was Mister Mercedes. With integrity, revolutionary spirit and nice success, he formed Mercedes-Benz endlessly.
“As a frontrunner, he was capable of combine and inspire his groups with a ardour for expertise and the very best requirements for himself.
“He’s endlessly assured of the appreciation of all the Mercedes household. In gratitude for his a few years of excellent work, we are going to honour his reminiscence.”
New F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali added: “All of us at Components 1 are deeply saddened to listen to that Jurgen Hubbert has handed away. He was an unbelievable man and a pal and he can be significantly missed. My ideas are together with his household presently.”