Formula One legend Niki Lauda has hit out at F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone over his comments on Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, calling them "very unfair". The Chief Executive of the Formula One group, Ecclestone, had criticised the German, saying that Rosberg's win would not help the sport.

The 86-year-old Ecclestone, widely considered as the primary authority in Formula One racing, recently admitted that he would prefer that Lewis Hamilton won the title and not Rosberg. He said that "there is nothing to write about" Rosberg and that only Mercedes and not the sport would benefit from his win.

Lauda, who is a three-time Formula One champion and currently the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, was not happy with the Brit's comments, claiming that such statements at this stage of the championship were not in the right spirit.

"This criticism of the possible world champion Nico Rosberg is quite excessive. And especially at such a crucial stage of the world championship, I think it's very unfair", said Lauda, as quoted by sportsmole.

Mercedes team's boss Toto Wolff also backed Rosberg in the wake of comments from the F1 supremo, saying that whoever has most points at the end of the season should be the champion and that is what matters in the end.

"I think the driver who should be champion is the one at the end of the season with the most points. He deserves the title and should be fully appreciated," Wolff said, according to sportsmole.

Rosberg is currently leading the 2016 Formula One world championship drivers' standings with 331 points, 26 points ahead of defending champion Lewis Hamilton, who has 305 points to his name. Hamilton has kept his hopes alive of retaining the F1 title by winning the US Grand Prix on Sunday (23 October). The Brit will now have to win all the three remaining races of the season and he will need Rosberg to suffer at least one setback either at Mexico, Brazil or Abu Dhabi.

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda is a three-time Formula One champion Getty