Lauda brands Ferrari team orders 'stupid'

Lauda brands Ferrari team orders 'stupid'

Former F1 champion and Jaguar CEO and team principal Niki Lauda has criticized Ferrari's actions this year as stupid and damaging. The Austrian thinks team orders could be implemented in a much less obvious way that would not be so insulting to...

Former F1 champion and Jaguar CEO and team principal Niki Lauda has criticized Ferrari's actions this year as stupid and damaging. The Austrian thinks team orders could be implemented in a much less obvious way that would not be so insulting to fans and the sport in general. He also reiterated the opinion of many that although team orders have been employed many times in the past, no teams have done it in such a blatant manner and have let their drivers race.

"The problem with team orders is that they are not appreciated by the fans," Lauda said in the British press. "That is why the Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has attracted so much flak for not allowing his drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello to compete properly with each other for much of the season."

Niki Lauda.
Photo by Jaguar Racing.
"If team orders are going to be imposed in such a stupid way as Ferrari have done it is going to damage F1. Finishes could be ordered to benefit the team in a more subtle and clever way, which wouldn't have hurt everybody so much. The performance of the Ferrari drivers at Indianapolis was particularly silly and that was one of the low points of the year for me."

"What I find boring is that this Ferrari one-two strategy seems to have been adopted over the last couple of years. When you look at the period when Williams and McLaren dominated F1, the teams let their drivers race their arses off -- (Nigel) Mansell versus (Nelson) Piquet, (Alain) Prost versus (Ayrton) Senna -- and at least racing was still fun, even though a single team still dominated."

"Ferrari have taken this out of the sport. It is boring and we're now in a situation where nobody watches. We must produce proper racing and it's all Ferrari's fault that we are not doing so."

Harsh criticism indeed in that last sentence. Yet, aside from die-hard Ferrari fans, it would seem that the majority of F1 fans probably agree. Ferrari should be not be victimized for being the best, that is a point that few argue with. The point is that the Scuderia are the best and should not need to sink to manipulating finishes and ignoring real racing in favour of trying to set yet more records. What value is there in setting records that are not won but have been contrived?

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Niki Lauda , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Jaguar Racing