FIA/FOTA war is very damaging, says Lauda

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda has said that the conflict between the FIA and FOTA is damaging the sport.

The legend said it was putting the viewing public off, and he did not understand why a compromise had not been reached.

“I have never experienced anything as counter-productive as this, in terms of the external effect. It is a miracle anyone is still watching: these quarrels interest nobody,” said the Austrian in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.

He laid the blame squarely at the door of personal egos, which he said had meant it was difficult for parties to back down now.

“Everyone is worried most about losing face, and because of that everything could fail,” he pointed out.

Lauda’s comments come after the FIA accused FOTA of deliberately blocking conciliatory moves yesterday. The FIA alleges that certain parties within FOTA are determined to continue the impasse, because they want a reason for leaving the sport.

Although Ferrari is not thought to be one of those parties, Lauda said he did not understand the Maranello marque’s hardline stance against the FIA. He said they had profited hugely from a close relationship with the governing body.

“They are the only team with a FIA contract to 2012, and in the past years they received 100 million euros more than anyone else,” he said.