Lauda blames egos for 'absurd' F1 feud

Niki Lauda has slammed Formula One's political crisis as the making of "egocentric managers" engaging in "personal feuds". The straight-talking former triple world champion fears that the players in the dispute between existing teams and the...

Niki Lauda has slammed Formula One's political crisis as the making of "egocentric managers" engaging in "personal feuds".

The straight-talking former triple world champion fears that the players in the dispute between existing teams and the FIA's Max Mosley are no longer focused on the sport as opposed to their own agendas.

"The real absurdity is that everyone agrees in principle about the problem of reducing costs," Lauda, 60, told the Stuttgarter Zeitung.

Also exasperated by the crisis is the F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who this week predicts "more talking" and "little progress".

"With all these meetings, I should have bought shares in a mineral water company," the 78-year-old joked dryly in interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Austrian Lauda, however, believes the real tragedy is the apparent eagerness by both sides to play out their battle in full glare of the world's media.

"Everyone is worried most about losing face, and because of that everything could fail. That would be the biggest joke of all," the great Austrian remarked.

Lauda is most baffled by Ferrari, for whom he won two of his three drivers' titles. The Italian team has played a leading role in the struggle against Mosley's rules and governance.

"They are the only team with a FIA contract to 2012, and in the past years they received 100 million euros more than anyone else," he said.

Lauda also slammed the threats about an alternative championship as "laughable" and "totally unrealistic".

On the entire affair, he added: "I have never experienced anything as counter-productive as this, in terms of the external effect.

"It is a miracle anyone is still watching: these quarrels interest nobody."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Niki Lauda , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari