In a slow news cycle for F1, many outlets look to the trusty and always fun quotes from Sir Jackie Stewart or Niki Lauda. They seem to be the quote machine of choice when things are slow. Never one to miss an opportunity to render a quote, Messrs. Stewart and Lauda have an ample supply of quotable quotes for jsut about every occasion. To be honest, you have to admire their willingness to instantly proffer some comment when asked about the most fringe of incidents.
Such was the case this week when F1 was void of any news in the middle of their forced holiday. Slow news week? Call Niki Lauda. One enterprising journalist did just that and got a quote that suggested the FIA should offering a “pasting” to Ferrari for their team orders incident.
No one would have expected the Quote merchant Niki Lauda would have started a verbal tussle between him and his former employer. The pedestrian act of grabbing a quick Lauda quote is not actually making news in F1 circles. Just goes to show how slow the news really is doesn’t it?
In response to Lauda’s calling for a “pasting”, the Horse Whisperer has answered the Austrian driver on Ferrari website saying:
After events in Hockenheim, a wave of hypocrisy swept through the paddock, with so many pundits, young and old, keen to have their say: some were promptly brought back into line by his masterâ€™s voice, while others continue to pronounce sentence willy-nilly. The lastest missive comes from Austria, from a person, who having hung up his helmet, has never missed out on a chance to dispense opinions left and right, even if, on more than one occasion, he has had to indulge in some verbal acrobatics to reposition himself in line with the prevailing wind. This time, good old Niki has missed out on a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut, given that, when he was a Scuderia driver, the supposed Ferrari driver management policy suited him perfectlyâ€¦That aside, where was all his moral fury when, over the past years, so many have been guilty of more or less overt hypocritical actions? As for any predictions regarding a possible decision from the FIA World Council on 8 September, time will tell: in this sort of situation, the best policy is to respect and to trust in the highest level of the sportâ€™s governing body.
Honestly, I’m not sure this helps their case, which will be heard on September 8th by the World Motor Sport Council, but they have a point. Lauda certainly prospered under Ferrari tactics and strategy and perhaps the teams dedication to him is really no different than their dedication to Alonso? Is that any different now then it was back then?
Either way you look at it, the team orders rule is a real slippery slope and can of worms all bundled in one. Fans robbed, teams better interests ignored, fake racing, a team sport. Which is it? An abomination in the sport or part of the reason they have teams and constructor’s points? Many of the British press and fans that I have seen comment are not as upset as long as the team just does a better job of patronizing them by making it almost look like it was a plausible pass. Uh…okay.
Anyway, How about that Lauda? Getting a direct rebuke from his old employer. Now that is a dog-eared quote machine gambit that has actually paid off and created some news this week! Woot!