Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari Have Mercedes Worried, Niki Lauda Says
The Formula One legend-turned-Mercedes team boss says Vettel's performance in Bahrain has the Germans concerned.
Sebastian Vettel's success in the Bahrain Grand Prix has Mercedes-AMG's Formula One team concerned about their chances for motorsports domination this year, according to none other than team chairman Niki Lauda.
"The alarm bells are ringing," Lauda told Austrian newspaper Osterreich in an interview this week. Ferrari, he said, has a perfect combination of performance characteristics: a fast car, a solid strategy, and an incredible driver in Vettel.
Mercedes, Lauda said, will need to be as close to perfect as possible to win against such a well-sorted Scuderia Ferrari. "With the combination of many small errors one can not win against Ferrari," he told the paper.
The race in Bahrain, he said, set off the aforementioned alarms for him and the Mercedes team. "Bahrain was always a direction for me. Whoever wins there has a certain buffer for the next three races. We unfortunately did not manage this," he said. "We have to get out there until the next Grand Prix in Sochi."
Vettel's win last weekend means Ferrari now leads the 2017 Formula One season over Mercedes by two races to one.
Mercedes's next chance to beat the Italians comes on April 30th, when the F1 teams face off at the Russian Grand Prix.