Lauda scoffs at Raikkonen struggle theory

F1 legend Niki Lauda has scoffed at one controversial explanation for Kimi Raikkonen's Melbourne struggle.

The Mercedes team chairman admitted he was surprised by the performance gap between race winner Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari teammate Raikkonen on Sunday.

"I don't know what went wrong for Kimi," Lauda told the German broadcaster RTL. "The different to Sebastian was significant, when normally the two of them are quite close together."

One arguably malicious explanation is that, now at the age of 37, Finn Raikkonen might be struggling physically with the new-generation F1 cars, particularly amid rumours he indulges in alcohol and tobacco.

Shortly after the race in Melbourne, Lauda hit back: "He was behind from the start. And we can see that he is not tired. Look at him sitting there comfortably in his sunglasses and not a bead of sweat!"

(GMM)

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