|© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
A little over a week after Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda described the current Ferrari with colourful language, his team’s cars were beaten black and blue by the scarlet challenger.
Fernando Alonso wringed the F14-T at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday to finish second, fending off Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to third, who in turn kept Nico Rosberg, who started from pole position, in fourth.
It was the best result for Ferrari this season, and the struggling Kimi Raikkonen too recorded his best position of the year in sixth, culminating into an apt reply for Lauda.
The three-time world champion, a former Ferrari driver, not only called the current Ferrari and McLaren “shit” but pointed finger to his rivals for being “stupid” to have designed a car that offers Mercedes no real challenge.
Lauda apologised for his remarks ahead of the Hungarian GP weekend, which was Mercedes’ 100th race in Formula One.
Instead of recording yet another win in its landmark race, the German manufacturer finished third and fourth. It was the first time a Mercedes didn’t feature in the top two this season and Rosberg’s P4 was the lowest finish for the team this year.
To top it all, a squabble arose in the Mercedes camp over the team order issued during the race.
"Ferrari was today better than Mercedes, so everything is calm again," smiled Lauda.
Meanwhile, Alonso revelled in his result.
Lauda’s remarks about the Ferrari may have some truth in it as the Spaniard has been out-performing the limits of his car ever since he joined the team.
Last year after the race in Hungary, a frustrated Alonso told journalists that he’d like to have his rivals’ cars as a birthday present, to which the Italian media and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo erupted.
On Sunday, Alonso acknowledged that the team got “this position for free” referring to the misfortunes of Hamilton, rain, the safety car period and a sinewy track notorious for the lack of overtaking opportunities.
Alonso, who turns 33 on Tuesday, was asked in the post-race press conference at the Hungaroring what gift he would like for his approaching birthday.
“Well last year it was a very big misunderstanding of what was my wish,” he replied. “Especially in Italy.
“So, this year, I will not wish anything about the car and I will wish a happy day to everyone in Italy,” said the double world champion.