F2002 Still the Best F1 Car, Says Lauda

Former Ferrari star Niki Lauda has tipped the Italian giants to come back strong this season after seeing their dominance of last year fade away in a disappointing start to the 2003 season.

F2002 Still the Best F1 Car, Says Lauda

Former Ferrari star Niki Lauda has tipped the Italian giants to come back strong this season after seeing their dominance of last year fade away in a disappointing start to the 2003 season.

Ferrari won 15 of the 17 races in 2002 and scored as many points themselves as the whole of the rest of the field as they sealed their fourth consecutive constructors' title.

They have managed just 16 points from a possible 54 so far this season but Lauda warned: "There is no point worrying about Ferrari. There is no need to panic because Ferrari will continue winning. I have no doubt about that.

"They have done everything to build the best team, the best car and the best experience. No matter what people say the 2002 car is still the best car in the field - it has proven reliability and speed."

World Champion Michael Schumacher, who has made some uncommon mistakes in the first three races of the year, proved his car has the speed to succeed when he set the fastest time in qualifying for Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix.

Lauda believes that Schumacher will soon return to form and claw his way back into the title race, and added: "There is no doubt Michael Schumacher will come back. Talk of a crisis is ridiculous."

Lauda, who was sacked as Jaguar boss at the end of last season, won the World Championship for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and won 15 races in four years with the scarlet Scuderia.

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