Lauda has no concerns about race procedure in Japan


Formula 1 legend and Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda says that he has no concerns about the way in which the FIA organized today’s Japanese Grand Prix despite some of the decisions being called into question after the race.

The lingering presence of Typhoon Phanfone threatened to stop the race from going ahead of Sunday, with race promoters Honda refusing to change the start time despite receiving a request from the FIA to do so.

In spite of these concerns, the race went ahead as planned, but did not reach its full distance of 53 laps after it was red flagged following Jules Bianchi’s accident that has left him with severe head injuries.

Williams’ Felipe Massa believes that the race should have been red flagged five laps earlier than it was due to the treacherous weather conditions, but Lauda feels that without the advantage of hindsight, the FIA must be judged to have made the right calls.

“In the end, the rain was not the real issue,” the Austrian said. “The safety cars were put out and the race was run safe more or less to the end.

“It could have been run to the end without the accident so the darkness wasn’t issue here. The Sutil accident was way off the line and under normal circumstances we would not discuss it.

“You cannot say anything was done wrong. It was started in the most sensible way and this is what they did.”

Lauda also said that he does not feel that any of the decisions taken by those in charge of the race at Suzuka contributed to Bianchi’s accident.

“Motor racing is dangerous,” he said. “We get used to nothing happening and then suddenly we all get surprised.

“If one car goes off, the truck comes out and then the next car goes off. This was very unfortunate.”