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.
“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.
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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.
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.