Lauda furious with Ecclestone, Montezemolo for F1 criticism

Niki Lauda says Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo were wrong to so openly criticise Formula 1's new rules, because they risked destroying the sport

Lauda furious with Ecclestone, Montezemolo for F1 criticism

Although a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix has served to silence those doubting the new turbo regulations, Lauda is still angry about the approach taken in the build-up to the race.

The Mercedes non-executive chairman thinks it 'stupid' that leading figures were so willing to speak out against F1, and likened it to a movie director slating his own film before the release date.

"If Ron Howard would have said, 'I am making a 'Rush' movie, and I can tell you guys that this is the worst movie I ever made', then this is what was happening to Formula 1," said Lauda in an exclusive interview with AUTOSPORT.

"If he had said it before the movie came out, then nobody would have gone to see it.

"So what we are doing now, because of these different influences, is destroying our own sport."

He added: "I think it all started in Australia because the organisers complained about the noise level, and Bernie has complained from day one about the noise.

"Then it got its own dynamics and di Montezemolo came in and said there is not enough fuel.

"Out of this momentum everyone threw their own trouble in, and I have never seen such a stupid approach to a problem.

"How can you do that? I am talking as a normal person, I am not talking as someone from Mercedes. It is ridiculous."

CRITICISMS WILL NOW DIE DOWN

Lauda took part in meetings with the FIA, Ecclestone and team representatives in Bahrain to discuss the problems with the new rules.

And he is hopeful that with a consensus to try to improve the noise and placate concerns of F1's race promoters, the anti-rules spin will soon come to a halt.

"If we would stop this bullshit ourselves, then it will go right away," he said. "The noise issue will stay, because fans always hear the noise, but the rest will disappear.

"And it should never have come to this point now where we destroy our own sport. That was my biggest concern."

He also thinks it outrageous that rival teams were lobbying for rule change discussions against the backdrop of Mercedes having been dominant at the start of the season.

"I do not care who wins, but it is extremely unfair now if everyone moans and bitches because the first races were won by Mercedes," he said.

"Red Bull and [Sebastian] Vettel bored everybody over the last half of the season by winning nine races, and nobody said anything. That is unfair.

"Thank god, I can only say, that after last year's Red Bull dominance that there is somebody else now. That is the best you can do to a sport, so leave it alone."

This week's AUTOSPORT magazine features an in-depth news analysis on how the rows over F1 2014 came to a head over the Bahrain GP weekend

shares
comments
Button sure McLaren stronger than in 2013 Formula 1 season

Previous article

Button sure McLaren stronger than in 2013 Formula 1 season

Next article

NASCAR's Gene Haas granted Formula 1 entry for 2015 season

NASCAR's Gene Haas granted Formula 1 entry for 2015 season
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021