Niki Lauda has sided with Nico Rosberg, after Lewis Hamilton suggested a technical change at Mercedes has favoured his German teammate. After dominantly winning his second consecutive title in 2015, Hamilton has been curiously outpaced by Rosberg, who is enjoying a five-race run of poles and charging for a hat-trick of wins this weekend.
Rosberg, however, thinks it will be more difficult for him to win this weekend, as he is having to round out the season with an 'old' power unit. "We have had to extend engine life more than we planned, so it is clear that I have a little lack of power on the straights," he told Spain's EFE news agency.
But according to team chairman Lauda, Rosberg at least has stunning form on his side, as the F1 legend rejected Hamilton's claim that his struggle over the past few races has a technical explanation. "Nothing has been changed on the cars in terms of (preparing for) next year," the Austrian great insisted to German television Sky. "If we changed something, it is to make both cars faster," Lauda explained, "and both drivers have to cope with it."
"Nico has simply had breathtaking speed, starting on pole five times in succession and winning the last ones. Then, sadly with the aerodynamics, it is very difficult for Lewis to race (from behind) but it was the same with Nico earlier and now just in reverse," he added.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing