Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda died in 2019. The striking personality, optically known to the general public for his burns, managed to become Formula 1 world champion three times. He was also very successful as an entrepreneur and after his racing career played an important role in the success of teams such as Ferrari and Mercedes. Reason enough for motorsport journalist Maurice Hamilton to write a book about the hero of a generation. Nikki Lauda.
No long-term hassle, to that point
Niki Lauda was known for his direct demeanor. He never beat around the bush, but always said what he thought immediately and as clearly as possible. Followed by his familiar nod or the words ‘very simple’. He often came across as cool or even rude to the general public.
This is how the book about Niki Lauda’s life seems to have been written. Not that it’s cool or rude, but the book gets straight to the point. In many biographies of sports heroes, you often see some excessively long chapters on family history and childhood. A bit of that in this biography. Also thanks to the many quotes from Lauda himself, the direct effect is strongly reflected in the book. When you read the quotes, you can almost hear his striking voice saying it.
The book ‘Niki Lauda’ jumps right into the heart of Lauda’s life. Racing and doing business. That is why you are comfortable in it. Hamilton uses quotes from Lauda himself, as well as people close to him, such as Bernie Ecclestone, Toto Wolff, Nico Rosberg, Max Mosley and John Watson.
The years as a driver fly by
The segment of the book in which the driver Lauda is highlighted extends to just over half of the book. Here you review the years in a nutshell. But the serious situation at the start of his career is discussed. That period consisted mainly of trouble with his family (who didn’t agree with the motorsport dream), lack of money, lies to get deals, money that eventually turned out to be none at all, and even a brief suicidal tendency. It also becomes clear that Lauda was not seen as a top talent at all at the start of his career.
Of course, the legendary 1976 season is discussed in more detail. For example, many will notice that the movie ‘Rush’ (about that specific season) does not contain many aspects at all. (Hint: That’s why the documentary ‘Hunt vs. Lauda’ is an absolute must!) But championship years like 1975 and 1977 are each limited to one chapter. It makes one realize what Lauda has accomplished after his career. He may be known as the racing driver Lauda, but as an entrepreneur in the aviation industry he has also made his mark to a great extent. Lauda gained respect for his actions after a crash of one of his planes.
Additionally, as a Ferrari advisor, Lauda was partly responsible for bringing in Jean Todt (which has brought the team some success) and as Mercedes chairman he had an undeniable part in the current success that Mercedes is experiencing. For example, Lauda is responsible for the arrival of Lewis Hamilton to the team.
For the old generation and the new generation
That sounds like a killer. But the book is not only interesting for those who consciously experienced Lauda’s career, but also for the generation that followed the sport after his active career. The undersigned falls under this. I would even venture to say that the book is more fascinating when it comes to the period after his career.
The fact that the book is written by Maurice Hamilton helps enormously. It is almost a guarantee of the right insight. Hamilton has been involved in the world of motorsport for quite a few years. So, like me, are you less interested in books where family upheavals and an athlete’s youth are highlighted? Then â€˜Niki Laudaâ€™ is definitely a must read for you!
Niki Lauda – the biography
Release date: 16/07/2020
Thanks to Single Publishers | Voltage