Lauda: F1 'over regulated'

By Tim Collings

Former Austrian three-time F1 World champion Niki Lauda attends the second training session at the race track  in Spielberg,  Austria,
Former Austrian three-time F1 World champion Niki Lauda attends the second training session at the race track  in Spielberg,  Austria,

Mercedes F1 team boss Niki Lauda has slammed Formula One for being 'over regulated', and says Finn Kimi Raikkonen was partly to blame for his own big first lap accident in Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The three-time world champion Austrian said he could not understand Raikkonen's driving in the accident, which delayed the race for an hour.

• Read more Hamilton wins British GP

And he suggested that the delay, to repair a piece of crash barrier, was too long and unnecessary - and may have cost the sport large numbers of television viewers on a day when it was competing with the Tour de France and the Wimbledon men's tennis single final.

"This over nursing of F1, being over cautious, over controlling and over regulating drives me mad. And this little guardrail issue is another example," he said.

"There are too many people involved in making F1 as safe as the roads, which is wrong. They should have fixed it quickly, do something instantly and then 10-15 minutes later the race would have gone on.

"There is no way that another car would hit in the same place that guardrail. The delays we have now, nursing the guys, not crossing the white line here, being four seconds back, it is all wrong and this should be stopped.

"I have talked to Bernie [Ecclestone] about it and he fully agrees. We have to go back to normal racing."

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg during the British GP. Photo / AP

Raikkonen went wide onto the run-off through the Aintree kink and then lost control of his Ferrari as he rejoined the track further down the Wellington Straight.

The big impact caused barrier damage that required a one-hour repair.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda said Raikkonen had to accept responsibility for rejoining the track in the way that he did.

"One other criticism I have is that Kimi made a mistake," said Lauda.

"He went wide, so why does he come in balls out and then crash? Hopefully nothing happened [to hurt him], but it was unnecessary."

-AAP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 18 Sep 2014 23:15:36 Processing Time: 405ms