Lauda: F1 penalty system a joke

'The Rat' speaks

Niki Lauda has applauded a decision for F1 race stewards to take a step back, adamant that drivers should be "free to race."

Earlier this month, Autosport reported that the FIA would be taking a step back when it came to on-track incidents.

Instead of investigating and handing out penalties for every incident, they would instead only deal with the big ones.

The decision has been welcomed by triple World Champion Lauda, who feels drivers should be allowed to race each other without fear of punishment.

"Honestly, it is a joke," the Austrian told The Mirror. "The public leaves us because we are not racers any more.

"The Perez and Massa incident was a normal one. Thank God nothing happened, but I would leave it at this.

"Then in Austria there was another investigation into the Vettel-Gutierrez incident. 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 bulls**t. So this will not happen.

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

"What I do not like is when I watch a 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."

The 65-year-old added that he had spoken with both FIA race director Charlie Whiting and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone about the matter.

"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] in Hockenheim.

"You should leave it to the drivers. Don't interfere in all this. Interfering takes the interest away. Charlie agrees with it and they are going to do less and less and less on this." Planet F1

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