Niki Lauda Ferrari 312 T2

Niki Lauda (1949 – 2019)

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.

Niki Lauda Ferrari 312 T2

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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

7 responses to “Niki Lauda (1949 – 2019)”

  1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    It’s sad to see him go but at least he made to retirement unlike so many other legends of his era.

    1. Lokki Avatar

      Barely so, but yes, he made it to retirement. An amazing driver in his day.

    2. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      If you can call what he did after he stopped driving, ‘retirement’.
      Founded an airline, ran F1 teams, including Jaguar and Mercedes Benz, served on many boards etc.

  2. crank_case Avatar

    He always struck me as a very flawed human being, but what legend, or indeed human isn’t. Anyone passing is sad, but I think he had a pretty good run all things considered.

  3. Ross Ballot Avatar
    Ross Ballot

    Guess I’m watching Rush this weekend…

    1. crank_case Avatar

      A movie so good, even my wife, with no interest in cars or motorsport thought it was great.

  4. outback_ute Avatar

    He seemed to be enjoying himself the last few years with the Mercedes F1 team, which was great to see. RIP