Former Austrian Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda talks to journalists in the paddock prior to the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, central England July 9, 2011. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)

London, England - Bernie Ecclestone has been taken aback by his long-time friend Niki Lauda telling him that his criticism of this season’s quieter engines is damaging the sport.

During a private meeting of team bosses at the Malaysian Grand Prix, the triple world champion - now chairman of the Mercedes F1 team - told Ecclestone to stop moaning after ‘starting’ the row.

Afterwards, Lauda added: “To start this argument about the noise right from the start of the season I find so stupid and unprofessional like you don’t believe. I hate it.

“Everybody talks about the noise in a negative way - and it’s our own fault. So what I’m saying is wait four or five races and then we won’t worry any more.”

Lauda’s team has no issue with the new engines.

Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, have won the opening two races of the season.

Lauda added: “If people don’t like the new noise, take the earplugs out; the television people at home, turn the volume up.

“I just had this meeting with Bernie where he told us all his problems, how no organisers want to continue with F1. But who are they? Only the guy from Australia who runs their race, Ron Walker.

“He’s upset he has to pay so much money to get the race there. He now says the lack of noise destroys his business but the Melbourne numbers were very good.”