Ferrari's boss has hit back at Niki Lauda, after the former triple world champion said a re-emerging "spaghetti culture" is to blame for the team's struggles.

Ferrari's boss has hit back at Niki Lauda, after the former triple world champion said a re-emerging "spaghetti culture" is to blame for the team's struggles.

With the efficient and dispassionate German, French and British influences of Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt and Ross Brawn respectively now missing, it is tempting to compare Ferrari's past with its increasingly all-Italian makeup.

But the Maranello team's current team principal Stefano Domenicali, an Italian, responded: "I take it very personally when people suggest that because we are Italians we cannot get things to work properly.

"We have won titles and races in the past with fundamentally the same team," he insisted.

Domenicali also responded to speculation that Michael Schumacher's expiring contract will be simply allowed to end this year, after the German was implicated in the strategy chaos of the opening races.

"Michael is very important for our group. At certain moments he can be heavy because of his personality, but his positives far outweigh his negatives," he said.