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Lauda: Mercedes must be wary of Ferrari speed

Niki Lauda has warned Mercedes must be active to the growing threat of Ferrari after its disastrous start off the line in Melbourne.
Niki Lauda has echoed the F1 paddock's sentiments that the Australian Grand Prix showed the sport in the best possible light while warning Mercedes it must be active to the growing threat of Ferrari.

The non-executive chairman of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team says his squad needs to understand why both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton suffered poor starts in Melbourne which enabled the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to charge ahead.

Despite Mercedes' fightback, helped by the team's opportunism during the red flag stoppage to switch Rosberg on to medium tyres and therefore not need to pit for the rest of the race, Lauda is adamant Ferrari has closed the gap significantly during the winter and is expecting tough battles throughout the season.

“It was an exciting race first of all,” Lauda said. “I have never seen anything like this in the last three years and I have to say, to be fair to the sport, the race was half decided at the start because Ferrari did an incredible start with both cars.

“We screwed up and we have to find out why, but then the race took its way. I think it was the best start ever in Formula One, and what a race we have showed to everybody. I'm afraid we will see more of this because Ferrari is quick, no question about it. It's going to be exciting and I'm looking forward to the next one.”

Lauda also says it is a testament to the safety advances in F1 which saw Fernando Alonso come out of his smash with Esteban Gutierrez unscathed.

The McLaren-Honda driver ran into the rear of Gutierrez's Haas under breaking, sending the Spaniard into a barrel roll in the gravel before stopping upside down wedged into the barriers.

“Crashes where you get out and walk away, they don't really mean anything to you,” he said. “Thank God nothing happened and it shows again how strong these cars are. If you look at the upside down car it looked pretty screwed up I have to say.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.03.2016 - Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal and Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
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Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32.
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Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32 pushed down the pit lane by mechanics.
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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08.
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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 sidepod detail.
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Mercedes AMG F1 W08 front wing.
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Mercedes AMG F1 W08 rear suspension.
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Mercedes AMG F1 W08 T-wing on the engine cover.
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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08.
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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08.
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Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12.
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Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12.
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Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40.
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Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40.
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Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 leads Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
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Red flag held by a marshal at the end of the pit lane.
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Media in the pits and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF70H.
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xoxog

March 22, 2016 10:27 PM

Mrrat1: Why did Luie leave his trophy on the podium? I noticed it on the ground as Vettel & Nico left the stage. They were the last to leave.
because he is not as gracious in second place as he is in first. he has no room in his trophy case or ego for second.



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