Niki Lauda has slammed the "farce" of the Silverstone exhaust blown saga, questioning the motivation of the governing FIA.
Throughout the British Grand Prix weekend, the rules about off-throttle engine exhaust blowing changed several times, with many observers wondering if the dominance of the Red Bull team was being directly targeted.
"If that was so, it would be the greatest insolence. You can not punish someone just because he is better," triple world champion Lauda told Germany's N-TV, referring to world championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
As for the Silverstone scandal, the great Austrian said it was "the biggest farce ever".
"Why change the rules in the middle of a season? The crucial thing is that absolutely no one was protesting; the practice (of exhaust blowing) was tacitly accepted by all the teams.
You can not punish someone just because he is better
"Suddenly the FIA and Charlie Whiting had the idea to change the rules in the middle of the season. I personally don't understand it."
Lauda said he was relieved when, late on Sunday, it emerged that the FIA had accepted the teams' unanimous request to return to the pre-clampdown rules of Valencia.
"I very much hope that this absurdity stops now and we and the audience know at the Nurburgring in two weeks exactly what the rules are," he added.