Andreas Nikolaus Lauda - Niki Lauda, three-times World Champion went on to the car heaven. Niki Lauda, nesmrtelní, formule 1, F1, mistr světa | Constructors F1

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Andreas Nikolaus Lauda - Niki Lauda, three-times World Champion went on to the car heaven. Niki Lauda, nesmrtelní, formule 1, F1, mistr světa | Constructors F1 Constructors F1

Andreas Nikolaus Lauda - Niki Lauda, three-times World Champion went on to the car heaven.

Miroslav Sanytrák / foto Jiří Křenek | 25.5.19 | Niki Lauda

F1 2019

Andreas Nikolaus Lauda - Niki Lauda, three-times World Champion went on to the car heaven.

He was born on 22 February 1944 in Vienna. On the 20th May the world of motorsport was hit by sad news, at the age of 70, Niki Lauda died. He became a legend already in his life, especially for his fierce competitiveness and discipline in all aspects of his life.

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He won the Championships in 1975, 1977 and 1984, raced for March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham and McLaren. He won 25 races, 24 pole positions, he was 54 times on the podium, took 24 fastest laps.

On 1 August 1976 at the Nürgburgring circuit he had an insane crash, in which he might have burned to death. His lungs were badly burned and needed a transplant in 2018 with intensive treatment.

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He was the owner of Lauda Air airlines and a GP commentator for RTL. I enjoyed his commentaries, they were woven through with his sense of humour and professional attitude of the World Champion. Every time he gave his comments and took his cap off, the gesture inspired a sense of admiration and humility in me. Every race I hoped he would take his cap off again and when it happened, I rejoiced, shouting at home:"Lauda took off his cap again, what an honour for the driver."

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I assume all Formula 1 drivers listened to him in his life, I assume he was the grey eminence of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One. Visiting the team with my wife (twice), we felt his presence in the team, the discipline. The organization and communication style of two managers Bradley Lord or Felix Siggemann, the professionl attitude of Rosa Herrero Venegas, all that gave off the spirit of Niki Lauda. Last time we visited the team handing over the award for the Climber of the Year in F1 to Valtteri Bottas and that was where I felt the touch of Niki Lauda the last time. Though not being physically present, he was there for ever.

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Meeting Lewis Hamilton several times, I felt the same sense of humility from him, the same that Niki Lauda had. That was one of the factors that contributed to his winning three Champion titles! I believe the spirit of Niki Lauda will never leave this team.

I was present once at his meeting with Formula 1 fans, there were not so many people around and I was standing about 3 m from him, hoping to, at least, shake his hand, which didn't happen, but our eyes met several times and that was enough. He was a decent, determined man, I liked him. In fact, I liked the times he was racing in a lot.

May he rest in peace!

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