The term “legend” gets thrown around a lot, but there’s really no other way to describe Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda who passed away today at the age of 70.
Lauda was a three-time Formula 1 world champion in his driving career and stuck around the paddock as a huge part of many other teams, including the dominant Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team. Few have been as busy as he was and even fewer were as accomplished and influential as he was.
Our friend and former colleague Bradley Brownell is putting an obituary together that’ll be far better than what I can do, so read more about his amazing life and F1 career on Jalopnik. But on a personal note, I can only think of one time where I’ve ever seen a Lauda car and I’ll always remember it.
On a road trip from California to Georgia I made a mandatory stop at the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA. Their collection was mind-blowing, but I think I spent the most time around the car pictured above. It was Lauda’s Ferrari 312T2 which he won Monaco with in 1976. With Ron Howard’s incredible Rush still fresh in my mind, I better understood the significance of that car and the man whose name was on the side of it. I felt a lot of emotions standing next to that car, but above all else, I felt… humbled.
“Legend” isn’t strong enough of a word for Niki Lauda.
[Image © 2019 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]
Leave a Reply