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Lauda's Fight to Keep Hamilton from Ferrari

Berger: Lauda Would Have Blocked Hamilton’s Ferrari Move

25/02/2024

Reflecting on Niki Lauda’s would-be 75th birthday, F1 legends share the profound impact of his absence and enduring legacy.

Although Formula 1 is always a sport looking towards the future, the Formula 1 paddock took a moment to reflect on what would have been Niki Lauda’s 75th birthday on Thursday.

One of his friends and fellow Austrians, Gerhard Berger, believes Lauda’s absence from Mercedes F1 since his death in 2019 is palpably felt today.

“He would have done everything to ensure Lewis Hamilton didn’t go to Ferrari,” says Berger.

“It would have annoyed him – and he could have stopped it.”

Dr. Helmut Marko was also in the mood to remember his long-time great friend, who, despite being a fierce rival of Lauda in his later years, also remained very close to the three-time world champion in the F1 paddocks.

“Niki was my constant companion throughout my career,” shares Marko, aged 80.

“He always liked to play the selfish part and was too happy to cultivate the image of the tough businessman. But deep down, he was a good and generous person.”

“I miss him a lot, a lot. Especially our breakfasts together. Like me, he always went straight to the point. And of course, there were arguments.”

“But two guys like us always know how to find each other after a row. He’s left a void that I can’t fill. Just like Dietrich Mateschitz. Mainly as friends, but also as charismatic individuals.

“There’s nobody in the world of Formula 1 who can compete with Niki in terms of personality, humor, and frankness. He didn’t care if he offended anyone. And he didn’t need a contract either… like me!”

Lauda’s Fight to Keep Hamilton from Ferrari. Lauda’s Fight to Keep Hamilton from Ferrari

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