AO Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orpington, Kent
I knew Niki Lauda had been in and out of hospital with serious infections following a lung transplant, I knew that no-one was immortal, but was still shocked to hear he'd died. I expected him to be back in the F1 paddock, denouncing the latest rule change as "bl**dy sh*t", and speaking with his unique blend of directness and humour.
Watched him in F3, then F1 as a rookie, admired his rise, rated him miles above his contemporaries, and was at the Nurburgring in 1976 when he had his accident (though not at the scene, thank God). Liked the way he dismissed questions about his burns by saying he was ugly anyway. Enjoyed his stories about Ford managers sawing through the legs of his chair when he was Jaguar team principal. Cannot forget his response when asked a few years back why he was walking around the scene of the '76 accident: "I'm looking for my ear."
People come and go, but there'll never be another Niki Lauda, that's for sure.