Lauda ponders F1 future for Webber, Massa

By on Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apr.28 (GMM) The occupants of two key seats at top formula one teams may be under pressure, but finding alternatives is the real issue.

That is the view of outspoken former triple world champion Niki Lauda, who was asked in a German-language interview with about the looming fates of Felipe Massa and Mark Webber.

Both have had tumultuous recent periods - Massa throughout 2010 at Ferrari and Red Bull's Mark Webber at the opening races of 2011 - although the pair's most recent outings marked notable improvements.

"I want to tell you that I'm happy to be alongside you," Massa's teammate Fernando Alonso wrote in a recent 30th birthday message to the Brazilian.

Australian Webber, meanwhile, emerged from his championship challenge of last year into a difficult start in 2011, with his team boss Christian Horner saying his pace and motivation will be the key to a new deal for next season.

The 34-year-old driver then suggested his relationship with Sebastian Vettel is still not right by admitting it was "good" the German was beaten in China two weeks ago.

"That was quite a normal reaction," Austrian legend Lauda said, defending Webber.

"If Vettel had won again, his lead would have grown even more, and Webber wants to be world champion as well. Of course you're in a team, but if you want to be successful, you also have to be selfish," he added.

But also true is that if Webber and Massa are once again beaten by their respective teammates in 2011, their teams might need to look at their options.

"On a consistent basis, Webber and Massa can not go on the level of Vettel and Alonso," said Lauda.

"But for the two of them to be replaced, they (the teams) would first have to find two who are better," he added.

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