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Niki Lauda on Mercedes rift: “Before we go to Canada, this will be solved”

May 27, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Race Getty Images

With Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton’s relationship continuing to degenerate as they fight for the World Championship, Niki Lauda will seek to have the duo back on civil terms by the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks.

“Before we go to Canada, this will be solved,” Lauda, Merc’s non-executive chairman and three-time World Champion, said to Britain’s Press Association.

“I will speak to them like I always do. They always call me when they have problems, so I think it will sort itself out.

“They’re not children. They’re grown-up professionals who have their difficulties, but I will help them to overcome them in a nice way and they will understand.”

Lauda is certainly no stranger to tense situations in the paddock, but in his mind, there is a need for some boundaries in Rosberg and Hamilton’s battle.

“It’s normal,” the Austrian said. “I had the same with [Alain] Prost. I hated the guy, but at least I said ‘Hello’ in the morning.

“There are certain limits – and these certain limits I can re-introduce because I speak their language, the drivers’ language – and they do understand me, they like me, and there is no issue.”

Rosberg successfully held off Hamilton last Sunday to win his second straight Monaco Grand Prix, snapping an impressive four-race winning streak by the British driver.

Hamilton seemed agitated at several points of the weekend, including qualifying, where Rosberg had an off at the Mirabeau corner that triggered the yellow flag – and kept an angry Hamilton from having one last shot at pole position.

An investigation of the incident led to no action being taken against Rosberg, who went on to win the Grand Prix from pole. On the podium, the two Merc drivers did not speak to each other.

With this in mind, Lauda, while understanding Hamilton’s frustration at finishing second, said that he didn’t appreciate him failing to at least acknowledge his German rival as the winner.

“What I did not like, and I will tell him this, is when you are up there and you don’t say ‘hello’ to your team-mate,” Lauda said. “This is not good.”

  1. barrylibby - May 27, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Gee, I wonder if it isn’t , if Herr Lauda who , remember was “instrumental ” ,in bringing the prima donna
    to MB will be given the heave ho !

    • photog645 - May 28, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      Personally, barrylibby, I think Mercedes made a mistake when they hired Lauda. I remember him from his days as a driver and he had a pretty glib tongue on him at that time. If Lauda is going to say anything to these drivers at all, he needs to tell Hamilton to shut up and Rosberg to ignore Hamilton and drive the car. If Lauda attempts to go down the road that he espouses in this article, he will only exacerbate the situation. You cannot force Hamilton – or anyone else, for that matter – to be “friends” if they do not want to do so.

      • barrylibby - May 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Could not agree more!!!!
        Former champions should remain just that.

  2. techmeister1 - May 27, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Anyone who’s been around F1 for more than a month pretty much knows that Hammy is an ego maniac. When everything goes his way, he’s tolerable but any other time he is a flaming arse clown. He thinks his driving ability makes him superior to other people but he is wrong.

    The true character of a person is not how well they drive a race car. Hammy has demonstrated over and over just like Vettel that he has a chip on his shoulder and that he can’t deal with reality. They both fail as human beings no matter how much adulation the fans or media bestow on them. Fame and fortune can’t buy you class or make you a good person. McLaren could not mold Hammy into a decent human being and Mercedes will not have any better luck.

    • redrock81 - May 28, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      You would think that Hamilton would have learned from Alonso’s actions in 2007, would he? Apparently he didn’t.

      • lewymp4 - May 31, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        redrocket81….During qualifying for the 2007 Chinese GP, Lewis turned out to be faster than Fernando. As a result Alonso flew into a rage, went into the McLaren garage area, and tore down a bathroom door by ripping off its hinges. redrocket81, do you really think that was a positive teaching experience, which Hamilton should try and copy?….hmmm

  3. photog645 - May 28, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    As a driver, Hamilton is outstanding. As a human being, Hamilton is a failure. And Lauda? He is carrying too much baggage with him from the old days to be making too many comments like this. Hamilton is the source of this problem because of his inconsiderate, egotistical motor mouth. IF Lauda is going to get involved, he needs to tell Hamilton to shut up and drive the car. And Rosberg just needs to ignore Hamilton and keep putting forth his best effort.

  4. kitnamania13 - May 28, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    I guess some drivers feel that they have to be jerks in order to get the most out of the car and themselves. If that’s the case, Hamilton is on pace to be the greatest driver of all time.

  5. some1kj - May 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Hamilton is, and behaves, like a child who needs to grow up! He is selfish and incapable of being a team driver. He never deserved wining his first championship in Brazil with some controversial action by a driver who is no longer in F1 during the final laps to deprive Massa from winning the championship. It was disgusting finish to the season, but then the British media is equally disgusting in elevating him to the likes of great champions which he will never be as a person, a driver? Yes, he has the skills, but not the personality to match.

    • lewymp4 - May 31, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Massa was only able to remain in contention for the 2008 WDC, because he was gifted a race win at Spa, at Hamilton’s expense whose race win was taken away.

  6. keef180 - May 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Timo Glock running wide at the second last turn on slicks in the rain is classed as controversial? I’ve heard it all now!

  7. worknman24hours - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Alot of Hamilton hate here but hey,think as you will.

    F1 has this teammate wars as long as there has been modern F1.

    In the golden oldy days,teammates were assigned number one and number two spots and actually surrendered their own race cars at times to let the number one guy win.

    Niki has to say what he said to calm the board at Mercedes down but he knows and we all know better.

    Ain’t nothing settled until the Drivers Championship is decided.

    This might get really ugly soon and I sure hope so.because watching two Mercs destroy the entire field is not a race.

    Plus,I NEVER want to see either Lewis or Nico treated like Mark Webber was treated by Red Bull.

    Let’s see a fair fight and may the best ,most hateful driver win.

    Don’t worry, Nico hides alot of ugly under that docile smile, Lewis should not underestimate him.

    Let the smashing ,yelling and screaming at trackside begin. :)

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