Hamilton: "Without his support, I wouldn't still be with this team"

28-12-2019 10:21
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Hamilton: Without his support, I wouldn't still be with this team

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton has once again underlined the importance of former Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, who passed away earlier this year, as Hamilton stated he "wouldn't still be with this team" if not for the Austrian.

The Brit won his sixth drivers' championship in 2019, putting him just one short of Michael Schumacher's record total of seven. After switching to the German works team in 2013, Hamilton has won five titles in seven seasons, as well as six consecutive constructors' championships.

What many people don't know, however, is the importance of Niki Lauda in the big picture at Mercedes. The three-time champion was essential to the team behind the scenes, and he famously convinced Hamilton to join the team in the first place earlier this decade.

The Brit now also revealed that if not for Lauda, he wouldn't have been at Mercedes anymore, something which seems unthinkable to most fans.

"Without his support, I probably wouldn’t have made the switch to come to this team," Hamilton told Motorsport.com. "Without his support, I wouldn’t still be with this team. I don’t think this team would have had success without his support."

Elaborating on what it was about him that made him such an asset to the well-oiled machine that is Mercedes, Hamilton explained how the Austrian would be able to link the racing team and the corporate side of Mercedes.

"Going to the board, pushing and breaking their balls. That is what he was the best at. But also being real with me. Being the bridge between… Toto [Wolff] was a racing driver and the board, who were not racing drivers, to have a real champion who understands, and empathises with how difficult it is to deliver weekend in weekend out, when you make a mistake…

"That is where he has been such a great, great pillar for me. So I miss him a lot.”

2020 will be the first year for Mercedes where Lauda will be absent for the full season. He passed away at 70 years this May, causing shock across the whole world of Formula 1.

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