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Lauda: 'Alonso and McLaren was all about the money!'

Niki Lauda
© XPB 

Niki Lauda admits he doesn't feel any sympathy for Fernando Alonso's current plight, believing it all started three years ago with a decision based on money.

Alonso left Ferrari at the end of 2014 for a lucrative contract with McLaren-Honda. While there's no disputing the material benefit associated with his move to Woking, rewards out on the race track have been non-existent.

Former colleagues Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber feel sorry for the two-time world champion whose career has gone nowhere fast in the past three years.

But unsurprisingly, Lauda feels no compassion for the Spaniard. Asked what advice he has for Alonso, the Mercedes non-executive offered a cold response.

"Nothing at all," he said. "He's where he is because he wanted to make a lot of money at McLaren."

On the subject of the future of Mercedes' drivers beyond 2018, when Lewis Hamilton's current contract expires, Lauda insists it's still a long way off.

"2019 is still far away -- I'm not worried," Lauda told Speed Week.

"We will soon be able to say something about 2018. Personally, I'm very satisfied with Bottas.

"I think our lineup is the strongest, because together Vettel and Raikkonen are weaker and Verstappen and Ricciardo are less stable," he added. 

Lauda also denied once again that Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel have been targeted by Mercedes for the future.

"Verstappen is waiting for a top car and is disappointed now, but he must fulfil his contract," he said.

"Vettel will stay with Ferrari," Lauda added. "So it's not an issue for us."

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