McLaren had the privilege to have the three time world champion, Niki Lauda, in their ranks after he came out of retirement. One of Formula 1’s greats with that natural ability to sprinkle magic of the race track. The Austrian won two world championships with Ferrari and one miraculously with McLaren. But his heroics on the track aren’t the only things that made him so respectable in the F1 fraternity.
Niki Lauda was leading the championship in the year 1976 when he was involved in a horrific crash at the German Grand Prix. His Ferrari burst into flames just after the crash which gave him a near death experience as he suffered severe burn and also inhaled toxic fumes. But, Niki Lauda somehow recovered to feature at the Italian Grand Prix. Although he lost the championship to James Hunt by 1 point, that spoke a lot about the mentality of the legend himself.
After one more season with Ferrari and winning his second championship, he decided to hang up his boots only to make a return in 1982 to drive for McLaren. Niki won his third world title with McLaren in the year 1984 and finally decided to quit racing. Due to the kind of influence he has had on the sport, McLaren has decided to honor him by unveiling his bronze statue at their Technology Centre.
McLaren decides to honor the Legend, Niki Lauda, for his contribution to Formula 1
But the man wasn’t done the. He later on played an important role in convincing Lewis Hamilton to sign for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton has always been in awe of him. He expressed his feeling after he passed away. The seven time world champion said, “Niki is someone who I miss and who I think we all miss dearly. It is a difficult subject to talk about; someone you are so fond of and someone that ultimately the world has lost but I have only the greatest memories with Niki.”
“He was such a positive, funny, entertaining guy, he always had the greatest stories to tell. He was a natural born racer. He was always thinking about how we can improve. The greatest sign from Niki was if you did the job, he would take off his hat. That was for him saying: ‘Well done!’ as reported by formula1.
Niki Lauda was one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers to have sat behind the wheel. The Austrian changed the perception of the sport and deserves every bit of recognition.