Lauda unsure about flawed top three

Wed, 13 December 2006, 11:34

It is unclear which of F1’s top three teams will emerge with the 2007 world championship, three time winner Niki Lauda says.

Renault, McLaren and Ferrari all have the potential to be strong next year, the Austrian legend admitted, but all also appear to feature fundamental flaws, the champion of 1975, 1977 and 1984 told Austrian broadcaster ‘ORF’.

“Renault won the last two championships,” 57-year-old Lauda said, “but (Heikki) Kovalainen has never even started a grand prix.”

He added: “Strong car, but the driver question still needs to be clarified.”

He said the opposite situation exists at McLaren, because it boasts the back to back drivers’ champion Fernando Alonso but a questionable single seater.

“It is well known that the McLaren was not the best car this year,” Lauda said.

Lauda also drove for Ferrari in his 172-race career, but he thinks Kimi Raikkonen might have trouble filling the boots of the Maranello based team’s departing top driver, Michael Schumacher.

“It will be a difficult task for him, because (Schumacher’s) German precision helped Ferrari to triumph for many years.

“Kimi is going to have to work very hard, which is something that he doesn’t always like to do.”


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