Lauda: You must be a b*****d to win in F1
26 May 2014 – Niki Lauda has said he is confident Lewis Hamilton will get over his Monaco disappointment, although he conceded 'you have to be a b*****d to win in Formula 1'.
Hamilton had to settle for second place in Monte Carlo on Sunday and with team-mate Nico Rosberg winning, the Briton slips back to second in the Championship standings, four points adrift.
It was a dramatic weekend with the events in qualifying and the way Rosberg secured pole leaving Hamilton none-too-pleased. Rosberg went off on his final run in Q3 and brought out the yellow flags, something that meant Hamilton was then forced to abort his quick lap. Although the stewards found Rosberg did nothing wrong, Hamilton wasn't convinced.
Interestingly, however, Lauda also confirmed that Hamilton used a higher power engine setting in Spain in order to stay ahead of Rosberg in the closing stages, even though he was not meant to. Rosberg, similarly, also played with the settings, when he was trying to overhaul Hamilton in Bahrain.
"They were arguing about it [what happened in qualifying], that Nico did it deliberately, but the stewards cleared him, which for me is the most important [thing]," Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda told reporters according to Sky Sports F1.
"Nico said 'no, I'm sorry that I braked too late'. He apologised, which I have to respect. We had a race incident before in Barcelona where Lewis did something [and used a higher power engine setting] and then we said 'hey, this is not correct' and he said 'I am sorry'. So basically [they are] both grown-up people and I am sure that Lewis will overcome this after one night's sleep.
"Give him time. He will sleep tonight, hopefully makes a good party with Nicole [Scherzinger – his girlfriend], and then [he will] speak to him tomorrow and I guarantee you it will be fixed. If not, I'm his mentor anyway and if there is anymore issues I will call him and say 'Lewis, come on, work it out' because I am supporting both in my ex-driving ideas and sometimes I go against the management.
"I'm in constant contact with him. So maybe he calls me; if not I call him and ask how he is. But not today!"
Meanwhile, Lauda added that such tension is normal between team-mates, especially when they are both fighting for the title.
"Yes, this [the tension] is normal, you cannot stop it," Lauda continued.
"You have to be a b****** if you want to win in Formula 1 anyway. No question. You cannot win being a nice guy. Tell me one nice guy out there?"