Lauda wants to see Ferrari punished

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The Independent Online

Niki Lauda is expecting Ferrari to be given "a pasting" next month when they go before the World Motor Sport Council over allegations of race fixing.

Three-times world champion Lauda has again condemned the tactics employed by Ferrari at the German Grand Prix on July 25 when via coded messages Felipe Massa was forced to cede the win to team- mate Fernando Alonso.

It resulted in the team being immediately fined 100,000 US dollars, but they face the prospect of further sanctions from the WMSC at a disciplinary hearing in Paris on September 8.

Speaking to F1's official website, outspoken critic Lauda said: "You have two models of how to race in Formula One as a team.

"If you approach it politically then you are in the Ferrari mould.

"Or you try to give both your drivers equal opportunities and the fans an exciting sport, as Red Bull are doing in letting their drivers compete with each other.

"That is what makes this sport a crowd-puller because they see the best guys in the best cars racing each other with a 'may the best man win' philosophy - and not mocking the fans with a collusive result.

"What they (Ferrari) did in Hockenheim was against all rules. Either the rules are changed or everybody observes them.

"What they've done is wrong and they got an immediate punishment - and they will get a pasting from the World Council, that is for sure."

It is anticipated if further sanctions are imposed they will likely be against the team rather than the drivers.

That would leave Alonso still in the title hunt as the hearing takes place just four days before Ferrari's home grand prix at Monza on September 12.

Alonso currently trails championship leader Mark Webber by 20 points, but it is the Australian's team-mate in Sebastian Vettel that Lauda still fancies for the crown.

That is despite the fact Vettel has been on pole seven times this season and converted only one of those into a victory.

But asked for his tip for the title, Lauda added: "Theoretically Sebastian Vettel. But he has to bring it in first."