Formula 1 - Lauda: F1 must end nanny state rules

Niki Lauda has asked Formula 1's chiefs for a total rethink over punishments for contact, saying that drivers should be left to sort out matters for themselves.

Formula 1 - Lauda: F1 must end nanny state rules

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Niki Lauda.

The FIA is to back off in handing down punishments for drivers, and will now only investigate incidents where teams complain or one man is clearly at fault.

However, Lauda thinks it essential the sport goes even further than that, and that the governing body washes its hands of involvement in collisions completely.

He believes that too much regulation has taken away the impression of F1 drivers as gladiators, which has become a turn-off for fans.

"I have spoken to Bernie [Ecclestone] about it, and I spoke to Charlie [Whiting] in Austria too," said Lauda, when asked about his feelings on the F1 spectacle.

"What I do not like is when I watch the race like Montreal, Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton] are close in the first corner and then it says on the television that they are under investigation.

"I went to Charlie and Bernie and said we need to bring the old days back, like when [Nelson] Piquet hit the other guy [Eliseo Salazar] at Hockenheim. Remember this?

"You should leave it to the drivers. Don't interfere in all this."

Lauda believes that by the FIA not getting involved at all in incidents, it will not only increase the spectacle - because drivers will be more willing to take risks - but will also bring back the personality of drivers who do deal with tricky situations.

"Honestly, it is a joke," declared Lauda. "The public leaves us because we are not racers any more.

"Even the incident of [Sergio] Perez and [Felipe] Massa, if now they are getting the idea of cutting back all the influence from the stewards of the meeting and all these kinds of things, then I would not even talk about that.

"It was a normal race accident, and thank god nothing happened, and I would leave it at this.

"[In Austria] when I saw again another investigation [the Sebastian Vettel/Esteban Gutierrez incident] I thought it was all wrong.

"It has to be stopped. If after the race somebody wants to protest because of it being unfair, fine he should do it. It costs a lot of money, a lot of lawyers and a lot of bullshit. So this will not happen.

"I would let these drivers be free to race. There is too much control of everything."

Lauda suggests that F1 is suffering from there being too much regulation, and that has left drivers competing under the impression they are in a nanny state.

He added: "Correct. It takes the interest away. Charlie agrees with it, I have to say, and they are going to do something - to do less and less and less on this."

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