Niki Lauda has a novel proposal to get more value out of F1's highly-paid drivers and at the same time help another premier series stave off the effects of the global financial crisis.

Niki Lauda has a novel proposal to get more value out of F1's highly-paid drivers and at the same time help another premier series stave off the effects of the global financial crisis.

The former triple world champion wants racers like 2008 title winner Lewis Hamilton, and rising star Sebastian Vettel, to double up and race in the German premier touring car category DTM.

"In these difficult times Mercedes could use Hamilton (for its DTM team)," the Austrian told the German language news magazine Focus, explaining that F1 drivers this year will not be deployed on circuits so much due to the total ban on in-season testing.

"And Vettel could be put to use by Red Bull-Audi," Lauda continued.

He said his scheme would give F1 employers more value for their money, and boost the popularity of the DTM, whose 2009 calendar does not include many clashes with grands prix.

Lauda said he does not agree with proposals to cap or limit F1 drivers' salaries.

"Utter nonsense. It is a free market," he insisted.

 

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