Seven titles with Mercedes were 'more valuable' for Niki Lauda

11-07-2021 11:18 | Updated: 11-07-2021 12:57
F1 News
Seven titles with Mercedes were 'more valuable' for Niki Lauda

Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda shared a successful working relationship at Mercedes for years, with the two winning seven world titles together. They spent a lot of time together, developing a close friendship. It has now been two years since Lauda's death and he is still missed in Formula 1.

At the double race in Austria, Toto Wolff met Lauda's son, Mathias. "Of course we have known each other for a while," the Mercedes team boss told Servus TV. "The last few years Niki was my best friend and we spent all that time together," Wolff says.

"He was extremely stubborn and not always easy. But he told us, my brother and I: he was more proud of the seven titles with you and than his own three," Lauda's son reveals to Wolff. "That also says a lot. As a racing driver you are proud of your own titles."

Lauda himself won three titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984. He joined Mercedes in 2012 and was involved in negotiations to sign Lewis Hamilton to a three-year deal with Mercedes in 2013, among other things.

Lauda placed a high value on Mercedes titles

"But he said: in hindsight, if you think about it, the seven titles he won with Mercedes are more valuable to him now, because he's just inside the team and how he sees the team growing and also the relationship with you. That was really worth a lot more to him. Unbelievable. In the past he would never have thought like that," Lauda's son says.

To this day, Lauda is immortalized on Mercedes' car in the form of a red star. Mathias Lauda admits that he looks forward to it at the start of each new season: "It's a huge honour for us. It's nice that he's still racing."

According to Wolff, that will always be the case: "Of course there are marketing experts here who think it's not corporate identity, a red star, it should be silver. So we said it's red and will stay exactly like that. The red star will always be on every Mercedes race car in Formula 1."

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