Hamilton: 'Lauda always thought of only one thing: how can it be improved?'
By Thorsten Hendriks 20 mei 2020 | 11:30
A year after the death of Niki Lauda, Lewis Hamilton indicates that he is still not accustomed to the absence of his mentor. The Austrian played a major role in the life of the six-time world champion. Hamilton reflects on his relationship with the Formula 1 legend.
'2019 was the toughest year for me because we lost Niki. He was hugely important to the team. We all miss Niki, every day. I still find it difficult to talk about him. We've had so many great moments together' says the Mercedes driver of Speedweek.
Lauda personally persuaded Hamilton when he was driving for McLaren to make the switch to the German race team: 'I remember the first conversation we ever had, that was in 2012. I came home and he called me to convince me to drive for Mercedes. I remember that I thought it was very special that a world champion - no, an icon - like Lauda just called me like that'.
Lauda supported Hamilton
'When a man like Lauda supports you, you know he has a huge amount of respect for you. I never thought he had a high opinion of me, but in the end it turned out he did. In Singapore he stepped into my hotel room, we talked in a very serious manner. We similar thoughts about a lot of things, much more than I initially expected,' Hamilton continues.
A friendship was born that would last until Lauda's death: 'We travelled together, I visited him in Ibiza. Lauda was a very positive man with a lot of humour, a born entertainer. He always told beautiful stories and always thought of only one thing: how could it be improved?' (Photo: Mercedes AMG F1)
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