Lauda wary of rivals growing stronger

1 Comment

Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda is refusing to get complacent despite the German marque’s near-perfect start to the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have claimed all of the wins on offer at the beginning of the new season, with the result being a Mercedes one-two in all races but the opening round in Australia where Hamilton was forced to retire. This has given the team 154/172 possible points in 2014, but Lauda believes that total domination for entire season would not be good for the sport.

“We do not want to win all the races. Such records don’t do Formula 1 any good,” he explained to Blick newspaper.

“What we want is to build a solid base for the next few years.”

Lauda believes that the results are the just desserts for the team following a lot of time and effort being put into the new regulations, but the rest of the field will catch up soon.

“What we are experiencing currently is the harvest of many months of work,” he said. “Especially in the area of the turbo engine.

“Four wins in a row and strong drivers, this is a great performance, but we do not think the current situation is normal as our opponents will certainly be getting stronger.”

In China, the team was once again dominant, but Ferrari and Red Bull do appear to have cut the gap slightly to the front-runners. The real opportunity will come at the next race in Spain, where all of the teams will be introducing the first major upgrade packages for their cars.

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018