Niki Lauda: “Mercedes will not react to Ferrari”

Asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport if Mercedes will now follow suit and give its contenders a fresh turbo V6 for Spain, team chairman Niki Lauda answered: “No. We are only at the fourth race. What may seem a disadvantage now will become an opportunity when it really counts, in the second part of the season.”

Mercedes figures have admitted the level of Ferrari’s resurgence in 2015 was a surprise. But Sport Bild claims the German carmaker may actually have helped Ferrari to catch up, fearing that continued dominance would be a turnoff.

The magazine said Mercedes, for instance, recommended that Ferrari sign up its hybrid specialist Wolf Zimmermann, resulting in dozens of added horse power for the fabled Italian team.

Lauda continued: “I am not at all surprised by the improvement of Ferrari, because they started to work on it last season, they rely on the quality of work by [James] Allison, and because of the restructuring of the team.”

As for the erosion of Mercedes’ dominance, the F1 legend added: “The anomaly was last season, not this season. I never had the illusion that we would continue to dominate like that.”