The new adjustable rear wing introduced into F1 in 2011 is 'the most stupid [and] certainly the most crazy idea ever invented', Niki Lauda has blasted, with the Austrian legend arguing that overtaking should be purely a matter of skill and not technology.
In truth, the contentious DRS (Drag Reduction System) – which has drawn a mixed reaction from the sport's competitors following the F1 2011 curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne just over a week ago – did not greatly spice up the spectacle Down Under, with the habitual bywords of downforce and aerodynamic grip rearing their ugly head once again, as McLaren-Mercedes star Jenson Button discovered during his frustrating fight with Ferrari rival Felipe Massa.
The DRS is controlled by FIA stewards, and can be activated only when a driver is within a second of the car in front of him – but it palpably did not impress Lauda.
“The wing is the most stupid idea,” the triple F1 World Champion told Sport1
. “Overtaking should be done by the drivers themselves and decided by them, not by the FIA with green lights in the cockpit telling them to fold their wings down or up. I would never have introduced this. It is certainly the most crazy idea ever invented.”
Meanwhile, the 62-year-old has tipped Red Bull Racing's reigning F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel – the man who dominated around the streets of Albert Park – to successfully defend his hard-fought drivers' crown this season, reasoning: “The year is long, but right now he is in the perfect car and is driving perfectly. He had a superior win in Australia. He is definitely the favourite if this continues.”