Niki Lauda 'worried' about Liberty's F1 vision

Published on 13 Nov 2017 11:10

Niki Lauda admits Liberty Media's vision of the future of formula one leaves him "worried". In recent days, the sport's new American owners have outlined their plans for a new engine formula and team budget caps.

"I'm worried," F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport. "They needed time to figure out what F1 is, but that's about to expire and what they think about the future is worrying me," he added.

"Brawn says we need to level performance, but F1's DNA is the opposite," Lauda insisted. "You're a fool if you think that to make the races more attractive you need to have a different winner every weekend."

However, Lauda does acknowledge that it is fair for Liberty to want to make engines available to teams for a lower price. "Sure, and I'm sure we will find a satisfactory compromise," said the Austrian.

"The heart of the problem is the rise in costs and the decrease of revenue, but more than that, where do we want to go? We need ideas but I do not see them. I heard from Sean Bratches that we would like to see drivers accompanied to the track by kids. But is it a new idea to simply copy football?" Lauda added.

"The budget cap is logical and correct, but we need a three-year plan to implement it. Do you want us to send thousands of employees into the street? For now Liberty has only announced what it wants to introduce, but not how it intends to do it," Lauda added.

So the final question is whether Mercedes is prepared to join its track rival but political ally Ferrari in threatening to quit F1 over the Liberty vision? "I don't think it's right to make threats," said Lauda, "but from September 2018 we have to decide how to increase revenue and reduce costs. Because it is worrying." (GMM)

Replies (6)
Posts: 625
It’s not at all worrying for Mercedes, they're sorted whatever they do. They have received back many times the value of their investment and greatly enhanced their brand value, and they did that by being excellent at what they do, and politically adept. They don’t need F1. Ferrari, I would argue is different. Racing is in their DNA...
SE calle.itw 13 Nov 2017 19:040
Posts: 5276
Agreed, and F1 is the only motorsport Ferrari is truly present in. Ferrari are very dependant on F1 for marketing. But I still find it a positive that Mercedes want to be in F1, the more the merrier.
Posts: 133
"We need ideas but I do not see them." What a nonsense is this, come on Nicky, come up with some, and let it be some that favour the sport, not just your team. It is rather easy to sit back and only argue against. Try arguing for something instead: build, develop, innovate, and lead by example, you imminent grise.
US mcbhargav 13 Nov 2017 17:030
Posts: 646
I'm worried.. ( on loosing our advantage).
Posts: 243
Who is really interest what happened this past weekend. In Abu Dhabi? The race doesn't matter. While there is championship drama everyone is interested. When a team like McLaren has a hard time interesting sponsors a drivers need to bring sponsorship racing is in trouble.When one of four or five teams can legitimately win then racing is interesting. When one team can turn up the power and run away thats cheating. I wonder what Mercedes paid the FIA to set the rules as they did and wonder what was in it for RBR and Ferrari.
GB talktohenry 14 Nov 2017 10:280
Posts: 339
Liberty going in the right direction, the field needs to be closed up, the days of one team dominating are over now and it's getting boring even for die hard fans like me, Imagine if any car had the pace to win

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