Lauda: McLaren and Ferrari have sh*t cars

Niki Lauda in the Ferrari 312 T2 during the Legends Parade before the Austrian GP

Niki Lauda in the Ferrari 312 T2 during the Legends Parade before the Austrian GP

Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has declared that the sport’s two most iconic teams have produced sub-standard cars compared to Mercedes, who have totally dominated the season thus far.

Lauda is the chairman of the Mercedes team, who have won every race but one this year, “McLaren has the same engine as us and the car is sh*t. Where are they? Nowhere. The same with Ferrari – another sh*t car. Next year will be different because they can change half the engine.”

The triple F1 World Champion had been asked about Mercedes’ huge advantage in 2014, and whether it is fair that the regulations restrict the rivals’ freedom to fight back, “The rules are written clearly. You cannot penalise Brixworth because others have been stupid.”

But the situation has left Fernando Alonso as perhaps the most frustrated driver in Formula 1, seemingly always stranded in a midfield car despite his talents.

McLaren and Ferrari not good this year says Niki Lauda

McLaren and Ferrari not good this year says Niki Lauda

“I’m sure he is very frustrated,” said Lauda, “but the money he makes should help him. “He can’t just go to McLaren because he has a contract that he can’t get out of unless he’s sacked. Sometimes you choose a car and you’re wrong.”

“Remember Ronnie Peterson? He was the best but always in the wrong place,” Lauda added.

When asked about Lauda’s expletive-laden description of the 2014 Ferrari, boss Marco Mattiacci played down the controversy, “I do not intend to comment on a phrase taken out of context in an interview.”

“For me, Niki Lauda is an icon of motor sport, one of the most intelligent drivers of all time and my esteem for him is huge,” added the Ferrari team boss.

Ironically Lauda won Formula 1 World Championship titles with Ferrari in 1975 and 1977, and in 1984 with McLaren. (GMM)