Niki Lauda has refuted media claims that he was excessively critical of reigning world champion Fernando Alonso last week.
Triple drivers’ title winner Lauda, now a travelling commentator for German television, had in the newspaper Bild compared the 26-year-old Spaniard’s political team tactics to those of Alain Prost.
“Instead of trying so hard to achieve number one status, he should just drive quicker,” he said.
Sections of the Spanish press, however, either mistranslated or embellished Lauda’s quotes, and the 58-year-old was widely attributed as having said that “Prost was a dog, but Alonso is worse”.
But he subsequently told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca: “I never said Alonso was a dog!
“I think Alonso is a perfect driver, but like Prost used politics against me, Alonso does that as well.
“I said he doesn’t need to do that in order to be champion again.”