Niki Lauda, three-time Formula One World Champion, has died.
May 21, 2019 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Niki Lauda, who famously bought his way into F1 by way of a bank loan secured against his life insurance policy, became only driver in F1 history to win F1 World Championships for both Ferrari and McLaren. After surviving third-degree burns in a horrific crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda returned to racing just 40 days later. His epic rivalry with James Hunt was chronicled in the 2013 Ron Howard directed film, Rush. A life-long pilot, Lauda founded Lauda Air in 1979. In 2012 he was named Non-Executive Chairman of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team and is credited with helping build the team into the dominant force in F1 today. He died on Monday at age 70 of kidney failure. Previously... 1,2
posted by spudsilo (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Fizz at 9:58 AM on May 21, 2019


I grew up with Formula 1 - started watching it about 1970 and watch it still - and I always loved watching him race. He was fearless and clever and was often terrifying to watch, he cut everything so close. I cried when he was burned at the Nurburging (I was 11 at the time) and won't ever forget that feeling. I think it was the first time I got that emotional about someone I didn't know.
posted by Gamecat at 10:17 AM on May 21, 2019 [7 favorites]

posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:29 AM on May 21, 2019

posted by carmicha at 10:46 AM on May 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

posted by coppertop at 10:49 AM on May 21, 2019

I hope that scene from the movie where he meets his future wife is even remotely, slightly true. It is the epic distillation of all cute-meet romcoms.
posted by Chitownfats at 11:27 AM on May 21, 2019

posted by ZeusHumms at 11:55 AM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:57 AM on May 21, 2019


Shame he won't be around to see the silver arrows win another constructors championship and WDC this year.
posted by some loser at 12:10 PM on May 21, 2019

The scene from Rush
posted by fullerine at 12:24 PM on May 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I grew up mad for F1 with very few opportunities to follow it anywhere but magazines, so it was an epic I followed one week or month at a time. He was sort of my "bad guy" at first (the stern teutonic type who kept beating my faves), right up until the Nurburgring crash and fire and implausibly heroic aftermath, past which point I could only have respect and awe. I love that so much of his story got told as well as it did via RUSH -- not entirely accurate, but good enough for Lauda, so good enough for me.

From that same interview -- "I have a reason to look ugly, most people don't"
posted by philip-random at 1:29 PM on May 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


I can't help but think of the amazing drive of someone who started up 3 airlines (all named after himself). And shortly after thinking that, I remember what a total stand-up person he was when one of his planes crashed, and how he tracked down the design fault that caused the crash. Not many people are that brave and empathetic.
posted by ambrosen at 2:54 PM on May 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

posted by Thorzdad at 2:57 PM on May 21, 2019

posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 4:16 PM on May 21, 2019

An extraordinary man

posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:04 PM on May 21, 2019

“Niki Lauda - His Greatest F1 Moments”—Formula 1, 21 May 2019

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:46 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by Red Desk at 8:18 PM on May 21, 2019

posted by Pendragon at 1:25 AM on May 22, 2019

posted by filtergik at 4:42 AM on May 22, 2019

posted by Dysk at 5:39 AM on May 22, 2019

🏎 β€’
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2019

posted by TwoStride at 7:37 PM on May 22, 2019


(Another dead hero would be trivializing the loss I feel, the only person to win the championship in both a Ferrari and a Maclaren)

He was World Champion the year I was born.

Could also rant about the current state of F1...
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:35 AM on May 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by but no cigar at 11:50 AM on May 23, 2019

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