Lauda, “We want to win every bloody race”

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis
Since the introduction of the new V6 turbo hybrids at the start of 2014, Mercedes has won 22 of the 26 races.  A Mercedes powered car has been on pole in every race dating back to 2014. This dominance has led to many within the sport calling for rule changes to allow the chasing pack to catch up.
Chief protagonist Red Bull’s  Christian Horner has gone on record stating that Mercedes’ continued dominance is bad for the sport and if it were to continue, manufacturers such as Renault and Honda may consider quitting the sport. Horner has called for rule reforms, in particular to allow in-season engine development beyond the February 28th homologation deadline.
However he fears that Mercedes would not be willing to accept such a scenario stating, “they don’t have to obviously, but the situation is we are at a precarious point in terms of Renault’s commitment to the future.

If you are effectively shutting that down in February, you are almost waving goodbye to them.

So [Mercedes] need to have a bit of a grown-up think about it. And the FIA as well to say what is in the best interests of F1.”

This claim came following what many has called a drab Canadian Grand Prix, in which the Silver Arrow pairing of Hamilton and Rosberg cruised to the team’s 4th one-two finish of the season and 5th win overall. In addition the 3rd place finisher Valteri Bottas was also a Mercedes powered car although some 40 seconds behind.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has gone on to dismiss suggestion that Mercedes’ continued dominance is making Formula 1 boring and if Sunday’s win was a good day for the team and a bad day for F1, he stated that the team’s focus is to win “every bloody race” rather than the overall spectacle.

Guys, I’m not here in charge of your politics. I can only run, with Toto [Wolff] together, the team in the best possible professional way. Win every bloody race, that’s what I’m here for and the rest I don’t know.

When quizzed further with regards to changes within the sport and whether it is Mercedes’ duty to take the lead given its current state, Lauda replied:

We do take a lead for the sport, we win the races for you. Look at the Canadians – 12% more people here for this so-called boring sport, you are trying to tell me, with no noise. Only Canadians are crazy here. I just said to Austrian TV ‘you crazy Austrians, think like the Canadians and all come to Spielberg!‘”

Horner and those who are berating Mercedes for their current success, should remember that Formula one is a cyclical sport. Just as Red Bull had four years on top and Ferrari enjoyed the Schumacher years so too will Mercedes’ dominance eventually fall.

The only question that remains is if Mercedes’ dominance will falter before fans lose all interest in Formula 1.

37 responses to “Lauda, “We want to win every bloody race”

  1. The thing what makes this dominance (and any other) boring is the fact that even the team mates don’t battle. Why does everybody talk about the McLaren dominance in the end of the 80’s? Because prost and senna fought for it. Every damn chance they got. Rosberg can’t do what prost did to senna. Or else nobody would been complaining. (Except for the other teams)

    • @Bruznic…

      So are you saying Mercedes should replace Rosberg with someone who can mount a more serious challenge to Lewis?…::😉

    • It doesn’t matter if Merc team-mates battle each other or not, because a single team dominating a series is historically fatal to a racing series.

      The root problem has been correctly identified as, “Mercedes’ continued dominance is bad for the sport”.

      It would be a tragic error for the FIA to close the mid-season engine development loop-hole for 2016 and beyond.

      • “The root problem has been correctly identified as, “Mercedes’ continued dominance is bad for the sport”.

        Really? Didn’t see that throughout the Schumi/Ferrari domination from ’00 to ’05 nor did we see that with the Redbul’s dominance.

        Just two questions….

        Who’s to say that a relaxation of the rules would change anything?

        What would be next if the status quo remains the same?

        • “Schumi/Ferrari domination from ’00 to ’05” and “Redbull’s dominance” did drive many fans away, and that is what is happening again.

          Even Hamilton has made clear that he would rather battle against other drivers and teams instead of only his own team-mate.

        • Actually, there wasn’t any substantial decrease while RBR-Vettel was winning, maybe except for 2013. Possibly because they were frequently challenged by other teams and some seasons they weren’t even the best/fastest overall. Considering that there’s been a decline for years now because of pay TV, it is very interesting that those years they’ve been winning was one of the most stable periods in recent times. Now it started again and viewership figures continue to decline.
          No challenge for 2 years in a row is really bad though. Worse than Ferrari times. This Mercedes might be more dominant than McLaren of old. Not even a teammate battle, which wasn’t really convincing for last year anyway. This supposed rivalry even gets on my nerves because it feels too fabricated and basically nonexistent. It is weaker than Webber-Vettel stuff. Webber was hero&media darling, Vettel vilified&team darling. It was genuine tension-filled stuff. Real characters. Now I feel like British press is trying to make sure people don’t think no one’s challenging Hamilton and he’s winning because of his car. Which is ironic I guess.

        • “Who’s to say that a relaxation of the rules would change anything?”

          I would. In the early 80’s when turbo engines became dominant until they were banned in 1988 you had 4 different drivers champions and 3 different constructors champions and a dozen manufacturers producing turbo engines. Essentially the FIA during that time introduced only three restrictions: fuel amount, fuel type and turbo boost levels. Everything else was open to development – whenever you wanted. That era produced some of the greatest racing and technical advances F1 has ever seen – unlike the snorefests of today.

          • Fair enough, but unfortunately we’re not in the 80’s anymore. Regulations, technology and the FIA has changed.

  2. I agree, I’m not much of a fan of either Merc drivers, but it only really matters which one of them will be ahead, and if anyone other than a Ferrari can finish in 3rd place. They should have Mercedes run their own championship between Lewis and Nico, and the rest of us can enjoy some racing between the rest.
    I can’t complain really, as I didn’t complain when Red Bull were dominating, and Mercedes’s time will come to an end sooner or later. Will it be Honda to dominate next?

  3. stop with the damn rule changes. this only increases costs, uneven performance. have one set of simple rules that are good for RACING and not road relevance and don’t change them. eventually everyone will level out and you’ll have tight racing all the time. the manufactures will be happy taking home the glory after a win. that’s all that matters to them anyways. the auto industry is so advanced now they don’t need F1 to develop technology. heard about the hydrogen powered cars? f1 is using basically 5 year old tech from a Prius.

    • Those who are calling for the rules to be changes from a technical perspective, are those who have done a piss poor job at building a competitive car.

      You don’t hear Sauber, FI, Lotus or even Manor for that matter complaining about the rules. The rules are perfectly fine. There was also a lot of complaining when the sport moved from V12′ to 10′ and then to 8’s until everyone was on an even keel. When KERS was introduced in 09, Horner complained just the same.

      Just like Ron Dennis said in Abu Dhabi or was it Bahrain last year, “leave the rules alone, they’re fine. It’s for the teams to put their heads down and do a better job”

    • Don’t forget that before the big 2014 rule changes, the rules were allowed to settle down, and what did we have? Four years of Red Bull dominance. 2013 looked much like 2015, and 2011 looked much like 2014.

      • Great point about Red Bull dominating when the formula favored aerodynamics. So it would be a mistake to go back to an aero dominant formula again.

        But, I now believe it was an error to cater to the auto manufacturers and bring in the hybrid technology.

        Pushing technical boundaries is part of motorsports, but the 24 hours of LeMans this weekend brings to focus that prototype sports cars, and GT sports cars remain the primary and most proper place for auto manufacturers to implement experimental ideas at the track.

        Where as the word “formula” in Formula 1, Formula 3, Formula 4, and Formula 2, is in reference to a common set of regulations for sprint racing of cars that are pure racing cars with no resemblance to street cars.

        The primary problems of the hybrid technology in F1 are excess weight, and extraordinary costs.

        The smart solution will be to do away with hybrid engines in F1 as soon as reasonably possible.

        Hybrid technology could implemented in the F1 in the future when it becomes cheaper and lighter than it is now.

        • It is engine dominant right now because that always has a bigger impact on performance compared to aero and right now there is such a big gap in terms of PU output that you cannot do much with aero to close the gap. So when the PUs are roughly equalized and frozen, it will be an aero dependent formula again.

  4. Renault can go take a hike. They got away with making in-season changes to their V8 because it was a rubbish and it was ‘necessary’ to equalise the power compared to the Mercedes and Ferraris. Did they equalise? Oh yes, and some. The Red Bullies were able to run the exhaust-blown diffuser. The Ferrari and Mercedes engines couldn’t play that game, as they were already ‘equal’ !
    What are RB and Renault up to now? What tricks have they got planned if they’re allowed to make changes next year?

  5. I agree with you, multi21 was certainly an exciting race, and it is still talked about. Hamilton would certainly love to play Senna to Rosberg’s Prost, if they were allowed to race, but I see Wolff getting nervous when one is within 5 seconds of the other.They care only about Constructor points and run their team that way

    • The multi-21 race was a rubbish race. It is only remembered for the controversy which ensued and Ross issuing team orders to Nico, despite him being quicker than Lewis in the race.

      • Fortis, multi-21 was about Vettel and Webber at the 2013 Malaysian GP, driving Red Bulls. It had nothing to do with Nico or Lewis.

          • To be pedantic, ‘multi-21’ was the code phrase radioed to Vettel during the 2013 Malaysian GP while he was behind Webber. It meant the team were to finish in their positions; Webber, #2 was to win and Vettel, #1, was to follow him home. Vettel didn’t follow instructions. Don’t confuse the ‘multi-21′ incident with Lewis’ not following team orders; call it something else.

          • I’m fully aware of what ‘multi 21’ was all about.

            The race showcased how 2 different teams handle the same situation. Whilst Vettel ignored the radio message to hold position, that very same message was passed down to the Mercedes pair and they both followed Ross’s decision. Despite Nico’s protestations, he obeyed.

            But like I said, go back and watch the race again, because I’m not sure where you got the idea that Lewis disobeyed team orders.

    • Then it would be nice to see someone else taking the WDC right from under their noses… Now that would be a fun and interesting story for F1, but I cannot see Hamilton letting it get to that or another car challenging for a win. They don’t even have reliability issues anymore!

  6. I’m not a neutral. I love the races – it’s fun watching Lewis drive and fight for the win each race, whether he’s in front or behind. He’s my driver and I’ve watched him get screwed for years due to McLaren’s ineptitude. Now is his time, our time, and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

    • “it’s fun watching Lewis drive and fight for the win each race”

      There is no fight, that’s exactly the damn problem! It’s even less exciting than the latter half of 2013, where Vettel won 9 in a row, because unlike the Merc, the RBR had a tendency to break down at least. We’re firmly in 2002 territory with the current Mercedes team. One driver who is clearly better than the other, and the other who’s scared to even try and fight.

      I’ve watched F1 fanatically from the very early 80s, and I’ve not missed a minute of any race for seasons. That changed in Canada, I gave up with 20 minutes or so to go and tuned it off. My long time best mate who used to attend races with me all over world barely watches the highlights now. When people like he and I aren’t watching the sport, and certainly no longer attending races, that says something is very very wrong with F1.

  7. @Fortis96, another nice piece there. Is it me or are Lauda’s brash statements to the press starting to sound less and less like they have their roots in a boardroom in Stuttgart and more and more like someone who is drunk with winning. Spice Boy Horner and Dr Marko both had this same problem when RedBull where on top, but, my God! What a thud they hit the ground with😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

    • Which team don’t want to “win every bloody race”? He’s just stating the obvious and/or facts – Mercedes want to win all the races, the attendance for the Canadian GP was up.

      If Renault/Red Bull didn’t want to “win every bloody race” we wouldn’t have to listen to whichever person they’ve decided has to feed some soundbites to the press on a given day. As it is they do, but due to rule changes they forced through before they’re now unable to. It just seems that instead of doing a Ferrari (making their car better), they’ve decided to just complain about it. They’re losing the full commitment of the talismanic Adrian Newey, his No. 2 defected to another team, their engine supplier isn’t great – it’s no surprise that toys are being thrown out of the pram, but it means their motives for wanting to change the current status quo aren’t due to a benevolent desire to see F1 become “fair”.

      To me, constantly moaning when you’re losing and then trying to use a smokescreen of an interest in the parity of F1 to attempt to force through changes is a lot less classy than Lauda saying he wants to win everything.

    • Thank you.

      Lauda has always been upfront with his words and opinions, it may offend some people, but if that’s how he feels, he’s going to let it be known.

      That’s probably why Mercedes brought him on board, because they needed someone who would say it like it is.

  8. So how about this as a plan… Renault go away, leaving Ferrari, Honda and Mercedes to supply a regulated maximum of 2 other teams. Cosworth supply a fixed-spec engine to any number of other teams up to a maximum of 16 (bring back pre-qualifying!) and the Cosworth teams can buy a chassis from any team they wish, all teams must run mountings suitable for the Cosworth engine. Run whatever branding the engine company wants to create the impression of ‘many brands’. This, along with my simple revision of the technical regulations, will save the sport. Bernie! BERNIE?!?

    • Further to the above, a maximum of 3 engine manufactures plus Cosworth (or equivalent). Possibly a weight penalty (10kg or so in a defined position on the car) for those that buy the chassis?

  9. “Those who are calling for the rules to be changes from a technical perspective, are those who have done a piss poor job at building a competitive car.

    You don’t hear Sauber, FI, Lotus or even Manor for that matter complaining about the rules. The rules are perfectly fine. There was also a lot of complaining when the sport moved from V12′ to 10′ and then to 8’s until everyone was on an even keel. When KERS was introduced in 09, Horner complained just the same.

    Just like Ron Dennis said in Abu Dhabi or was it Bahrain last year, “leave the rules alone, they’re fine. It’s for the teams to put their heads down and do a better job””

    Renault didn’t invest in the research and development for the new technology/power units that way that the other manufacturers did. They have been on the back foot and then some since the new technology/power units were introduced to Formula 1. When Red Bull had to send their people to Viry to fix some problems because the Renault people couldn’t, Red Bull should have viewed that as a huge red flag and started looking for a new manufacturer. I have my doubts as to whether Renault will ever be able to catch up with the front runners even if their was in season development allowed because it doesn’t seem like they have the resources/knowledge base in Viry to do so. Adrian Newey stepping back from his role at Red Bull combined with the other personnel losses have hurt the team.

    Either leave the rules alone or thin the rulebook down to just the necessary safety rules/regulations and let everyone go racing. The thick rulebook is what is stifling people like Adrian Newey and the other geniuses of the sport and making them what to leave. The costs will probably go up but everyone can develop/upgrade/adjust as much as they want and then it will be a test of the resources that each team has. If they want flat out racing, the repair bills will probably go up too. Yes, some teams will be a disadvantage because of economic factors but it would force them to go on sponsorship hunts and think of creative ways (i.e.: additional investors) to raise the money. It separates the men from the boys. The old saying is “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If the team really wants to participate in Formula 1, they’ll find ways to make it happen. If Formula 1 caters to the small teams, the backmarkers, or the teams that aren’t run properly, Formula 1 will end up being so regulated and it’s rulebook so fat in an attempt to contain costs that the races will look like they are being run on a kid’s slot car toy track. Formula 1 is a cyclical sport. Mercedes is at the front now in the sport and I doubt it will be very long before McLaren is at the front with it’s Honda power units and Ferrari is having a resurgence after some staff changes. I don’t know if Renault have the resources available to get back to the front.

    I adore Niki Lauda. He’s a racer who is very blunt and says what he thinks and he looks at things from a racing driver perspective. It’s important to have the business perspective and the racing driver perspective.

    As far as the Austrian GP, the Red Bull Ring is owned by Red Bull. People know that they will be putting money in Dietrich M. and Bernie’s pockets if they purchase tickets and go to the GP. I don’t think that they want to do that. I think that all of Red Bull’s complaining, the high ticket prices, and Bernie’s greed and deeds has made people not want to support the GP because they think that they will be supporting Red Bull if they do. It’s important for the Styria region that the GP is successful.

    • “Either leave the rules alone or…”

      Heidi – That is what Horner and Renault are asking for. They want the existing loop-hole that allows implementation of mid-season engine tokens to remain in place for 2016 also. Why is Mercedes so afraid of Renault?

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