Former World Champion Niki Lauda has once again criticized Ferrari's use of team orders at the German Grand Prix, claiming its actions mocked Formula 1's fans and deserve punishment.
With Ferrari scheduled to face a hearing of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council next month for ordering Felipe Massa to sacrifice the lead to Fernando Alonso, the matter is still a major talking point in F1. Lauda, who won two of his three world titles for Ferrari, says he remains unhappy about the tactics of the Maranello team, which he says are in complete contrast to the way championship leaders Red Bull Racing have gone about competing.
"You have two models of how to race in Formula 1 as a team," Lauda said in an interview with the official Formula 1 website. "If you approach it politically, then you are in the Ferrari mold. Or you try to give both your drivers equal opportunities and the fans an exciting sport, as Red Bull is doing in letting its drivers compete with each other.
"That is what makes this sport a crowd puller, because they see the best guys in the best cars racing each other with a 'May the best man win' philosophy – and not mocking the fans with a collusive result. But I am aware that this is a topic where opinions differ."
Speaking more specifically about Ferrari's actions at the German GP, Lauda said: "What they did at Hockenheim was against all rules. Either the rules are changed or everybody observes them.
"What they've done is wrong and they got an immediate punishment – and they will get a pasting from the [FIA] World [Motor Sport] Council, that is for sure."