Mercedes has issued a statement on behalf of non-executive director Niki Lauda in which he clarifies his comments made regarding Lewis Hamilton on Austrian TV last week.
Lauda claimed on Servus TV ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix that Hamilton had damaged his private room in Mercedes’ hospitality unit after qualifying for the European Grand Prix two weeks earlier, having crashed out in Q3.
Lauda also said that Hamilton had lied about his supposedly good relationship with Rosberg, saying: “The fight gets hotter the longer Nico is in front.”
However, the three-time world champion has now backtracked on his comments, as explained in the statement issued ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Here is the statement in full:
“Following his appearance on a television discussion show on Servus TV recorded prior to last weekend’s Austrian GP, Niki Lauda would like to set the record straight and state the following:
- Lewis Hamilton did not in any way damage a hotel room or his private driver room at the circuit during the race weekend in Baku; and
- Lewis Hamilton did not lie about his relationship with teammate Nico Rosberg.
“Niki regrets any misunderstanding caused by comments that have been blown wildly out of proportion compared with the casual context in which they were made.”