Lauda: Alonso should tread carefully when dealing with sensitive Italians

Niki Lauda with Luca Di Montezemolo during their heyday in the Ferrari F1 team in the seventies

Niki Lauda with Luca Di Montezemolo during their heydays at the Ferrari F1 team in the seventies

Niki Lauda has advised Fernando Alonso to change his technique when it comes to working with Ferrari, and Italians for that matter.

As his title campaign drove off the rails in July, the Spaniard entered the summer break criticising Ferrari’s development, and deployed his manager for talks with Red Bull.

Lauda, now Mercedes‘ team chairman but once a highly-successful Ferrari driver, has some advise for Alonso.

“If you drive for Ferrari,” he told the German broadcaster RTL, “you sometimes have to [accept] that the car is not that great.

“But his mechanics work day and night on a car that is not as good as a Red Bull at the moment – and he complains,” said Lauda.

Fernando Alonso celebrates with Ferrari team after victory in Spain earlier this year

Fernando Alonso celebrates with Ferrari team after victory in Spain earlier this year

“But you have to constantly motivate the people – the Italians are very sensitive,” he added.

“They expect him to say ‘I didn’t win, but I want to thank you all that we finished second, and we are going uphill now’.

“That is the way to deal with the Italians,” said Lauda.

The famous Austrian said that Alonso runs the risk that Ferrari will eventually turn away from him.

“He has to be a bit careful,” said Lauda. “Alonso is sometimes really not likeable.

“For me, as a package, he’s the best racer out there today. But if, compared to Vettel, Hamilton or Rosberg he was to lose his two tenths of ‘magic’, then we would have to see what is his reputation.

“At the moment he lives off his performance,” he concluded. (GMM.)

Subbed by AJN.

  • fools

    Hey Lauda… I know you have a big film releasing about you and Hunt but you should honestly figure out why your boy Lewis H. started from pole and got beat by a man named ALONSO who came from 9th to 2nd place and beat your Mercedes and LH by a pure 11 seconds…

    I think Lauda should keep his head up his own ass before he speaks about Alonso. Alonso clearly blew by everyone and qualified 9th to pace 2nd place easily…

    Lauda…. needs an overhaul in his brain.

  • Butterfly

    It seems Niki Lauda’s strategy for improving Merc’s performance is to destabilize the other teams. He offered LH big money to come there, they did the same for the tech director, now McLaren are nowhere.

    He said Raikkonen should go to Red Bull and that if he doesn’t than he’s a wimp. The reason he said that is because he knows Raikkonen would destabilize Red Bull.

    Now, he’s turned his attention at the greatest threat of them all, mainly Fernando leaving Ferrari for Lotus. He knows just how awful the Italians can make the F1 cars, so as long as the Spaniard keeps driving red machinery, Merc is okay.

    He also “adviced” Red Bull not to bring Alonso over since he’d be trouble. Yeah, it would be awful for RBR to win all the races in a season. Terrible.

    It seems RBR agreed and signed the mighty Ricciardo instead.

    He must have gotten chills down his spine thinking Alonso could jump to Lotus and bring financing to that team as well.

    What a SOB.

  • Forza Ferrari

    Most of Lauda’s comments are usually nonsense but this time he’s spot on. He knows what he’s talking about. You can’t motivate a team by playing these stupid political mindgames with your own team as Alonso did in Hungary and has done in the past as well. Sending your manager to talk to your current team’s main rival’s boss to put more pressure on your own team…that sounds like classic Alonso. As soon as things don’t go his way, then he always resorts to dirty manipulations and mindgames. Alonso is a brilliant racing driver, there’s no question about it, and as a Ferrari fan I appreciate his efforts behind the wheel, but his political mindgames are just disgusting. If he keeps behaving like this then soon there won’t be any team that would want him, regardless of how good of a driver he is. I mean who wants a troublemaker in their team, I think nobody. Alonso was kicked out from McLaren, was kicked out from Renault and if he keeps playing these mindgames then sooner or later he’ll be kicked out from Ferrari as well. He already has a tarnished reputation in F1, so he should be very careful of what he’s doing.

  • Butterfly

    Forza Ferrari:

    Yeah, he’s the one with the tarnished reputation. Not Ferrari for being the biggest bunch of incompetents to ever run a Grand Prix team.

    As for Fernando, he is the best EVER. And Ferrari’s best days are behind them.

    As for Niki, he doesn’t give a damn about the Italians, he just wants to make Fernando look bad. He, himself, said in 2010 that after Ross Brawn went away, the Scuderia was back to being Italian, meaning rubbish.

    Fernando doesn’t owe Ferrari nothing, it’s the other way around.

  • fools


    What kinda crack did you smoke this morning?

    Alonso is trouble for the team? WTF? If that was the case he would of been axed because surely Ferrari doesnt needs much funding. I dont think Alonso would ever play mind games on purpose. Sure he can talk crap about the cars performance. If your not winning wouldnt you? The car is very reliable but it doesn’t win races. RB has the complete package right now and Im admitting that. However the best driver is with Ferrari right now and his name is Alonso…how can you appreciate his efforts and then call him a trouble maker? Not much sense there.

    Dirty manipulations? Where? About him talking how crap the car is? Which he does in the most professional way? Kicked out of McLaren? I dont think so…he never liked the British Press which was against Alonso. Still tied with LH that same year for the WDC!

    I understand your a Ferraro fan. Good. But dont blame Alonso… he is the only rival to Vettel and he is the only driver than can beat him. Not LH. Nor Lauda PR bullshit!

    Alonso tarnished his reputation? I think any team on the grid would LOVE some Alonso driving for them any given Sunday!

  • Eevel

    That must be the good crack because I think you’re spot on!
    Alonso is like a spoilt little child.
    I’m not denying that he doesn’t have talent but I’m doubtful he’s the quickest driver on the grid nor the most complete.
    A complete driver would surely qualify better than he does.
    A complete driver would surely smoke a rookie.
    Alonso loves to make himself look better by making the car look bad.
    Alonso doesn’t care about Ferrari, Alonso cares about Alonso and he doesn’t mind making the team look bad if it makes him look better.
    He might be a talented driver but never before have we had such a slimy, repulsive character in F1!

  • fools

    wasnt my reply to Forza? lmfao.

    Clearly someone else is on crack…yet blaming Alonso has no talent.


  • fools

    Yet Alonso last year was VOTED BEST DRIVER LAST YEAR WHILST VETTEL WON HIS 3RD TITLE. All these votes came from F1 personel who ACTUALLY work in F1.


  • Alonso_is_slow

    Alonso should shut up and drive. end of story

  • Andrew Duffy

    Stuff the Italians feelings,if they dont like the truth then tough shit.Good for Alonso.

  • AlonsoFan

    Yeah yesterday he was the only one driving like a person whose trousers were on FIRE and he seemed to be the only person on a mission to overtaking others.he beat Lauda’s Lewis, RBR’s Webber on pure pace…Vettel was already way too ahead but he will also hunt him down soon IA and win this Title in 2013.cuz luck will soon change for vettel..

    As for LAUDA ,this *ucker is the biggest liar ever.last year there were romours that he will be a non-executive director at Merc in 2013 and he was pushing Lewis to leave McLaren for Merc, he denied that said this was *ullshit but weeks later it turned to be true so he is a damn *ucker as far as Liars go..

  • Ukwhite

    @Forza Ferrari: Well said, all genuine statements.

  • Forza Ferrari

    Looks like I hurt a few Alonso fanboys feelings by telling the truth…oh how tragic LOL :D
    I won’t lower myself to your level by going along with your ridiculous little insult contest here, if you can’t handle the truth then that’s your problem. Keep living in your little fantasy world and think what you want about your precious Alonso. Ignorance must be bliss, eh?
    Just for the record, I don’t have anything against Alonso as long as he keeps performing for Ferrari as he has done, but you hardcore Alonso fanboys/girls have always been one ignorant and classless bunch. But like I said, keep living in your little fantasy world where Alonso is the flawless superman. :)

  • Jim

    Hey Lauda…blow me…then shut the hell up!!!!!

  • the fan

    everyone has his own personality in F1… I wouldnt want Kimi if my team does a lot of PR, I wouldnt want Hamilton if he loses focus of his career for most of the time, I wouldnt want Vettel if he keeps on ignoring team orders deliberately and then acting like an innocent victim afterwards…. point is all of these drivers have different attitude but yet all of them can deliver and thats the first priority of every team out there.

  • Jetpack

    For the loose cannon Niki Lauda is, I’m inclined to agree with him on this one. Ferrari is not just a racing team, it’s an Italian institution and clearly passions within the team and country run deep- really deep. Despite Alonso’s exploits on race days it’s really easy to p1ss off these guys and for Luca to have stepped in the way he did, there was clearly strong stuff to defuse. Lauda has driven for Ferrari and clearly knows what he’s on about, Alonso is clearly restless knowing his last title was years ago- he has a right to be anyway but Lauda’s point is despite Ferraris shortcomings if you drive for them you’ve got to realise that nobody is bigger than the team-and I’m neither an Alonso or Ferrari fan … just an observation

  • stings

    @ Forza Ferrari

    You have read my mind.
    It’s perfectly true!

  • tod

    Alonso should shut up & QUIT!!!!!!

  • Virender

    LOL Lauda – That Actually means Dick In India (Hindi Languauge). He always clarify himself to the meaning. Fernando is the Best Driver Out there and there should not be any arguments. Shit like vettel is not even counted in his class.

  • Ukwhite

    Ferrari is The Italian Symbol, one of the most respected in the world. Belittling them it is one of the most stupid mistakes; it is not a happenstance Alonso’s big mouth is alike Webber’s one, both guys share a friendship, egos, and the likes.

  • Boycottthebull

    I love it! Lauda himself saying how someone else in F1 isnt that likeable and shouldnt be shooting their mouth off with stupid comments. Pot to kettle come in come in Kettle LOL

  • fools

    “Alonso should shut up and drive. end of story”
    He did..Alonso qualified 9th and came in 2nd… yours truly…-Alonso

  • fools

    Insult contest…? your ignorant statements about Alonso was your own insult to yourself it seems. Claiming your a Ferrari fan but not supporting Alonso? :) You dont even support the team if you clearly dont respect Alonso…YOU FAKE!

    …Alonso is and has been the only man to compete with Vettel.

    Alonso loses the WDC by 3pts. last year…so if he won it technically you’d be sucking his d*** huh?

    Ignorant troll fan.

  • fools

    Additionally, if your were watching the same Grand Prix I was…
    I heard nothing but “BOOINGGGG” towards Vettel during the post race interviews with David Cultard…
    When the mic came to Alonso…clearly I heard nothing but cheers and applause… not “booingg” like Vettel received and he did acknowledge that later when he was interviewed again by Cultard.

    So… you tell me who has a tarnished F1 Career :)

  • stings

    fools…I Tell you : Alonso

  • stings

    or, on a second thought….3 WDC won in a row against 3 WDC lost in a row….I wander….who can it be…hmmm

  • ceb

    I do hope Alonso finds what he deserves in 2014 and i think he will get 3 or more titles to his name .