SPAGHETTI BALLS: Mercedes team leader Niki Lauda has caused some trouble when his Ferrari spaghetti comment upset fans.Image: AFP / Mathias Kniepeiss
MUNICH, Germany - Toto Wolff has apologised for anti-Ferrari comments emanating fellow Mercedes chief Niki Lauda.
Amid all the claims about Mercedes making Formula 1 "boring" through its domination of the F1 tracks team chairman Lauda exclaimed: "How is it Mercedes' fault if Ferrari mucks about with spaghetti rather than improving their cars?"
Complaints apparently rolled in from Ferrari fans and Ferrari's stronghold in Maranello so Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff issued an apology on Lauda's behalf.
"Everybody knows Niki's special connection to Ferrari and his passion for F1," he said of the F1 legend and fellow Austrian. "That's why he is sometimes very direct and says things that sound sharper than they were actually meant."
Wolff told Bild newspaper: "We at Mercedes don't want to offend anybody. We respect Ferrari and look forward to exciting track duels. We take Ferrari as a very serious challenge and have to work hard to defend our lead.
"That they don't only muck about with spaghetti was made very clear to us in Malaysia."
Lauda's comments this week, however, were not limited to Ferrari. The famous triple F1 champion was also asked about reports linking Mercedes with a supply of turbo V6 engines for arch-rivals Red Bull.
Lauda was quoted by Italy's Autosprint: "We can only give engines to four teams and each has a long-term contract. (Dietrich) Mateschitz has always showed some animosity towards Mercedes. I don't know why but it's the reality."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 season. Fresh reports every day.