‘Talking About Funny Things’ – Lewis Hamilton Opens Up On His Relationship With Nikki Lauda


Lewis Hamilton had a wonderful couple of years with McLaren after his debut. However, owing to the Woking team’s inability to provide him with a car that would help him win the world championship, he switched to Mercedes in 2013. The move surprised many, since his new team was not at the top of their game either.

However, the new management of Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff convinced Hamilton of Mercedes’ future success. The ambitious Briton joined the team and replaced Michael Schumacher. At the time, Formula 1 pundits believed it was a terrible decision for Hamilton’s future.

Seven years later, the pair have registered the most dominating partnership in the sport’s history. In a recent interview, Hamilton was asked whether Niki Lauda gave him any advice during his time at Mercedes.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 02: Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda talks with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 2, 2017 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“I don’t remember Niki ever giving me any particular advice while sitting at a table. With me he was more like the guy who said, “Lewis, go out there on the track and get your ass.” Mostly we joked, talking about funny things. And we became friends. I miss him very much,” he said.

ALSO READ – Toto Wolff: How Did a Candle Seller Go on to Run the Mercedes F1 Team?

Lewis Hamilton looks back at his relationship with Lauda

The late Niki Lauda played an important role in building the foundation of Mercedes’ domination. He was an important advisor to the team and a great mentor to Mercedes drivers. Hamilton shed a light on the dynamic of his relationship with the former champion.

Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Niki Lauda, Non-Executive Chairman, Mercedes AMG, with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG. Courtesy: Getty

He said, “He wasn’t your typical mentor. The dynamic between us was different. By getting to know each other, we found we had many things in common, more than we thought, going beyond external judgment.”

The three-time world champion passed away ahead of the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix. Toto Wolff admitted during the 2020 season that there were many occasions where he wanted Lauda’s advice. He was an absolute gem to the Formula 1 sport, as a driver and as an advisor. He is certainly missed by his team and the Formula 1 community, may he rest in peace.

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