Ferrari threat won't make Mercedes rush F1 engine upgrades - Lauda

Mercedes will not rush bringing in upgrades for its Formula 1 engine, despite the resurgent Ferrari having dramatically reduced its power deficit, says Niki Lauda

Ferrari threat won't make Mercedes rush F1 engine upgrades - Lauda

The German car manufacturer is facing increased pressure this year from its Italian rival, with Ferrari's progress having resulted in Sebastian Vettel's victory in Malaysia.

But although things are closer than Mercedes would have liked, the team is adamant that it must not panic and try to rush through power unit tweaks.

That is despite Ferrari using new engines in Bahrain, and being set to unleash some of its development tokens to deliver upgrades in the not too distant future.

Asked by Gazzetta dello Sport whether Mercedes would bring new engines soon, non-executive chairman Lauda said: "No, this has only been the fourth race.

"What may appear as a disadvantage now will become an opportunity when it really counts, in the second half of the season."

Lauda did make it clear, however, that big car upgrades would be coming for the next race in Spain.

"The right thing to do is to not change work programmes on a whim. In any case, we'll have big changes to the car at Barcelona."

FERRARI CHALLENGE NO SURPRISE

Although few predicted such progress from Ferrari after its disappointing 2014 campaign, Lauda admitted that he was not surprised that Mercedes was facing a strong rival.

"The truth is that you are always under pressure in Formula 1," he said.

"The anomaly was last year, not this one, and in fact I was never under the illusion we could keep on dominating.

"I'm not surprised really, because their resurgence is deeply rooted in last season, in the good job done by [James] Allison, in the restructuring of the team."

PRAISE FOR DRIVERS

Lauda also has faith that Nico Rosberg has recovered from early season frustrations, judging by his strong race at Sakhir last weekend.

"Bahrain marked Rosberg returning to his best.

"Sometimes drivers aren't happy with themselves and the car, it happens, but you need to come out of these situations by yourself. Nico seems to have done that."

Wolff: Rosberg's resurgence is under way

But he added that both Hamilton and Vettel are at their peak at present.

"These are two exceptional professionals," he said. "Lewis at the moment seems invincible: you just need to look at his string of victories from last season to the beginning of this one.

"Changing air has been good for Vettel, he has found new stimulus.

"I don't know exactly what caused his slump last year, maybe he didn't feel well with the car.

"The fact is, he is now benefiting from the fantastic job done by Ferrari."

Translation by Michele Lostia

shares
comments
'Exceptional' Nico Rosberg bouncing back - Mercedes F1 boss Wolff
Previous article

'Exceptional' Nico Rosberg bouncing back - Mercedes F1 boss Wolff

Next article

How could F1 risk losing Monza for Baku?

How could F1 risk losing Monza for Baku?
Load comments
The 0.759% shift that created F1 2021's thriller  Plus

The 0.759% shift that created F1 2021's thriller 

Formula 1’s craziest title fight in years was long in the making. GP RACING reveals how a tiny swing - in absolute terms – equated to a big change in the balance of F1 power in 2021

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022