Wolff and Lauda play up to media speculation


Following weeks of speculation in terms of a rift between Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff and the F1 team's non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, reports in sections of the media overnight suggested that the relationship had finally broken down, causing concern as to how this would impact the championship winning team.

"Mercedes F1 reign threatened with Niki Lauda on brink of quitting team," declared the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper warning that "with doubt over the future of Niki Lauda", "Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s empire has reached its zenith".

At the core of the alleged rift is the (sigh) Red Bull engine saga.

In a nutshell, Lauda, who alongside his duties with Mercedes still enjoys his role as TV pundit with {i]RTL, is a good friend of countryman, and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Earlier this year Mateschitz is understood to have used his relationship with Lauda in his attempts to secure an engine supply from Mercedes, a move that was thwarted by the Stuttgart company's high command and also, fellow Austrian, Wolff.

The whole sorry saga of Red Bull and its engine supply has led to all manner of speculation and finger pointing, something which certain inhabitants of Planet Paddock have taken full advantage of.

Consequently, amidst claims that Lauda - who we all know is not the sort of man to quit in the face of adversity - is about to leave the team and that Mercedes "has reached its zenith", the Austrian and Wolff walked through the paddock hand-in-hand earlier today, a demonstration not only that all is well, but essentially, two fingers to the media and those stirring the pot.

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Published: 28/11/2015
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