Niki Lauda has lashed out at Mercedes’ struggling engine rivals, daring them to quit formula one.
Although Ferrari has closed the gap in 2015, rival manufacturers Renault and Honda are still struggling to match Mercedes under the new turbo V6 rules.
It has led to calls to scrap the hybrid engine formula altogether, or at least open the door for ‘equalisation’ measures in order to spice up the competition.
But Lauda, the F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman, has reacted furiously to that sort of talk, insisting the sport should not even fear the withdrawal of the struggling carmakers.
“If Honda and Renault decide to leave formula one, I couldn’t care less,” he is quoted by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“If despite their spending they are not able to fight for the win, that should not be a problem of Mercedes,” Lauda charged.
“When I won the championship there were two Ferrari engines and 20 Cosworth engines,” he said, “and no one complained.
“If Renault and Honda go, we will give 20 Mercedes engines to everyone and what is the problem?” added Lauda.
Until now, Renault has resisted joining those arguing publicly for a rule change.
But the French carmaker’s chief competitive officer Thierry Bollore now says: “It is true that these are regulations that were approved by everyone.
“But it is nonsense to think that those who have made a mistake cannot fix it during the season because everything is frozen,” he added. (GMM)