Niki Lauda, Three-Time Formula 1 World Champion Dies
The world of Formula 1 (and motorsport) loses another legend as it was announced that the three-time Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda had passed away on Monday evening.
Being a part of the Mecredes-AMG Petronas team (Chairman) he travelled to race weekends however since his lung transplant last August, he hadn’t been seen due to his recovery.
Known for his straight-talking and direct approach, he was well-respected not only by drivers but by team members throughout the paddock and adored by fans around the world.
In 1976, the Austrian driver suffered horrific burns following a crash which saw his car catch fire due to the fuel leaking out. He was left with burns to his head causing him to lose his hair and most of his right ear.
Never one to give up – Niki Lauda recovered and went on to become the only Formula 1 driver in history to have been a champion for both Ferrari and McLaren – two of the most successful constructors.
Winning in 1975, 1977 and 1984 – he will always be remembered and acknowledged as one of the greats.
As he was a part of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, here’s what Toto Wolff, the team Principal, had to say.
Toto Wolff: “First of all, on behalf of the team and all at Mercedes, I wish to send our deepest condolences to Birgit, Niki’s children, his family and close friends.”
“Niki will always remain one of the greatest legends of our sport – he combined heroism, humanity and honesty inside and outside of the cockpit. His passing leaves a void in Formula One.”
“We haven’t just lost a hero who staged the most remarkable comeback ever seen, but also a man who brought precious clarity and candour to modern Formula One.”
“He will be greatly missed as our voice of common sense.”
“Our Mercedes team has also lost a guiding light. As a team-mate over the past six and a half years, Niki was always brutally honest – and utterly loyal. It was a privilege to count him among our team and moving to witness just how much it meant to him to be part of the team’s success. Whenever he walked the floor in Brackley and Brixworth, or delivered one of his famous motivational speeches, he brought an energy that nobody else could replicate.”
“Niki, you are quite simply irreplaceable, there will never be another like you.”
“It was our honour to call you our Chairman – and my privilege to call you my friend.”