Niki Lauda believes Ferrari tech boss Mattia Binotto has been instrumental in the impressive improvement in performance of the Scuderia this season.
In the recent past, the Mercedes non-executive chairman attributed Ferrari's slump to the fact that it relied too heavily on Italian engineers.
Asked if Binotto's expertise and key role at the House of Maranello contradicted his view, Lauda responded by amending his opinion.
"Not at all," Lauda told La Repubblica newspaper.
"You consider Binotto to be Italian? Actually he is Swiss, and it shows.
"Ferrari works now because there is a Swiss who organises the Italians, making them work but leaving them free to express their imagination and ideas."
Binotto's impact on Ferrari's results may even be greater than team boss Maurizio Arrivabene's contribution, according to the F1 legend. Because its' improvement has been technical.
"The key figure is Binotto, no doubt," said the great Austrian.
"At least it appears from the outside."
Interestingly, Binotto actually stepped up to his current role after Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne fell out with James Allison.
Allison subsequently moved to Mercedes, where he is now technical boss.
"I don't know what happened between Marchionne and James," Lauda said. "All I can say is that I am very happy to have him with us."
That is despite the fact that, with Allison departing and Binotto stepping up at Ferrari, it is the red team that has taken a big leap forward.
"The truth is that we were waiting for a strong Red Bull and instead we found a strong Ferrari," said Lauda. "At the moment Red Bull are going nowhere."
And he said the respective Mercedes and Ferrari cars are currently very closely matched.
"I have the impression that Ferrari is faster in the heat and we are faster in the cold," said Lauda.