The Mercedes non-executive chairman noted the "unsual" gap in Melbourne between the two Scuderia stalwarts. A sign of perhaps things to come.
"If Sebastian gets a momentum with this victory, then the whole team gets behind him because he is already the several-times world champion," Lauda told German broadcaster RTL.
"Then it's hard for Kimi to catch him."
FIA President Jean Todt, who oversaw Michael Schumacher's golden years at Maranello, agreed with Lauda's assessment.
"Vettel reminds me of Michael," Todt told German magazine Sport Bild.
"They both have the same thirst for victory that is so great that it can leverage a whole team to succeed.
"Vettel's victory in Australia was important for Formula 1," the Frenchman added. "Because it means Mercedes finally has an opponent."