Haug hits back after Lauda criticism

Norbert Haug has returned fire at Niki Lauda, after the outspoken triple world champion scolded Lewis Hamilton for wanting to abandon the German Grand Prix. When running last at the Nurburgring, the reigning world champion pleaded with the...

Norbert Haug has returned fire at Niki Lauda, after the outspoken triple world champion scolded Lewis Hamilton for wanting to abandon the German Grand Prix.

When running last at the Nurburgring, the reigning world champion pleaded with the McLaren pitwall to "save this engine and gearbox" but was told to "concentrate on the driving and leave the strategy to us".

Asked about Hamilton's request, Lauda said: "I wouldn't have dared. A driver should drive because that's what he is paid to do."

Haug, Mercedes' competition boss, hit back at Lauda, referring to the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix when Lauda could have won the title but refused to drive in the torrential Fuji rain.

"Someone who says he 'wouldn't have dared' should remember when he drove into the pits and gave up a race," the German said.

Haug said it is absolutely wrong to dismiss Hamilton, 24, as unmotivated because he is not in with a shout of the 2009 title.

"I get the feeling that people are simply looking for anything to criticise," he added, explaining that Hamilton's Nurburgring radio call showed the "intelligence" to consider pit strategies on the run.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton , Niki Lauda
Teams Mercedes , McLaren