He doesn't do it often, but Niki Lauda insists he is happy to doff his iconic red cap to Michael Schumacher after the past two Grands Prix.

Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP
Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP

Photo by: xpb.cc

Despite recently calling on the 42-year-old German to hang up his helmet, triple world champion Lauda said: "I take my cap off to his performances of the last two races.

"His Mercedes has been good on the high speed tracks and so Michael has been able to show that he is still on it," the famous Austrian told Germany's Auto Bild.

Lauda, 62, has been one of the seven time world champion's staunchest critics as Schumacher struggled for results in the second year of his return to Formula One.

"Nevertheless," Lauda said after praising the winner of 91 Grands Prix after better showings at Spa and Monza, "I stand by it -- if he goes badly, I must criticise him."

He had accused Schumacher mere weeks ago of driving "for fun, not Formula One".