Dutch journalist Jack Plooij thinks that Niki Lauda would have solved the Mercedes-Red Bull feud, saying that his presence would have made it more manageable.
Red Bull and Mercedes battled it out on track for the first time ever, and things got ugly real quick. What started out as two teams with equal machinery became a minefield of political games and accusations.
Even on the track, things weren’t pretty. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton of Red Bull and Mercedes respectively came together on track a couple of times. They genuinely had a phase of not being able to race each other without causing some or the other problem.
Plooij thinks that Lauda would have solved the Mercedes-Red Bull feud, and explained that his relationship with both teams would have guaranteed a much better rivalry.
“I think Niki Lauda is missed at Mercedes,” he told the Dutch branch of Motorsport.com, as quoted by Planet F1.
“Niki had lunch with (Red Bull team advisor) Helmut Marko every day. I think a lot of fires were put out there. Maybe we never saw those arise, but now we do.
“I think Niki would have given Helmut the order ‘keep (Red Bull team principal Christian) Horner in his box for a while, then I’ll do it with (Mercedes team principal) Toto (Wolff)’.”
Marko was asked about Plooij’s statements, and he agreed with the Dutchman. The Austrian said that if Lauda was alive and working at Mercedes, the rivalry between the two teams would have been way more civil.
“It would not have escalated so much with Niki Lauda,” he told ServusTV.
“It would certainly have been tough because he doesn’t like to lose either. But it would have gone with more composure.”