Lauda apologises to di Montezemolo and Ferrari
23 July 2014 – Niki Lauda has apologised to Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo after his blunt description of the team's 2014 Formula 1 car.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El País over the German Grand Prix weekend, Lauda branded the Maranello team's F14 T as "s**t" and he also said the same about the McLaren MP4-29.
However he has now revealed he has since spoken to di Montezemolo to say sorry and has made his apology public.
"I apologise to Ferrari, to Luca di Montezemolo and to the Italian fans. I should not have used that word," Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Lauda told Italy's La Gazetta dello Sport.
"I was wrong and I do not make any excuses. I called the President and I explained to him my dismay that this incident should happen at all. It was my fault.
"I have not seen the interview in the Spanish daily, but I was too heavy with my words – forgive me."
Speaking to Germany's Bild newspaper, Lauda added: "I have explained to Luca and he understood it. We have known each other a long time.
"I was asked: 'What is the difference between Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari?' I said the Mercedes combination is simply the best blend of a good car with the best engine. McLaren also has the best engine, but the car is not so good. And Ferrari has weaknesses on both sides."
It is not yet clear if he has spoken to McLaren CEO Ron Dennis or anyone else at McLaren to make a similar apology.