Niki Lauda: Mercedes getting no credit for selfless acts

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Niki Lauda says Mercedes is not receiving enough credit for making decisions against its own interests to help Formula One.

F1's four manufacturers recently put forward proposals to lower costs of their engines to customer teams. Mercedes has also agreed to remove this year's engine development 'black boxes' in a bid to allow its rivals a better chance at catching up over the course of the season, freeing up the areas of the power unit able to be worked on under the token system.

Lauda says Mercedes made both decisions because it "sees the bigger picture" after two years of dominance in F1.

"We are losing money on the new price the FIA has agreed for engines," Lauda told the Daily Mirror. "We had to accept that to help the sport. Bernie [Ecclestone] doesn't want to depend on manufacturers' engines, but Mercedes are part of the F1 family. And the rest are always saying 'we don't like you'. How can this be?

"Limitations on engine development have been abolished to help rival teams like Honda catch up. Something else we agreed but is against our interests. We do everything we can to help, all against our own, competitive interest because we see the bigger picture. But everyone else just protects their own position."

Mercedes is the only manufacturer to supply three customers with up-to-date engines. Ferrari supplies three customer teams but one of those is the year-old engines given to Toro Rosso for 2016.

By contrast, Renault supplies one other team and Honda has an exclusive deal with McLaren after the team's CEO Ron Dennis vetoed a tie-up with Red Bull late last year. Lauda thinks Dennis' veto is an example of the self-interest of other teams.

"Ron Dennis said his deal was exclusive. Again one detail trips everything up, so there is no big step."