Book Review: Niki Lauda: His Competition History

Niki Lauda

Each now and again, a biographical guide comes alongside that’s so exhaustive in its analysis and element it’s in regards to the most interesting praise that may be given to the topic of such a tribute. I’ve learn two such books in my lifetime.

The primary was the late (and fantastic) Michael Argetsinger’s Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence at Velocity. The newest is Niki Lauda: His Competitors Historical past. Each books cowl each race entered, the outcomes and a brief story on every.

Chasing the Hesketh of James Trace in 1975

Creator Jon Saltinstall deserves props for the mission and additional deserves a champion’s laurel wreath for his ardour. The Brit, a banker by commerce, was a fan of the Austrian three-time Formulation One World Champion from the time he was a toddler. What’s ironic, is Saltinstall solely briefly met Niki however as soon as.

The creator along with his assortment of Lauda-raced 1:48 mannequin vehicles

In an interview in regards to the guide, Saltinstall explains, “The
closest I bought to speaking to (Lauda) was within the paddock at Manufacturers Hatch earlier than
the 1982 British Grand Prix. I requested him to signal my program; he stated. “Possibly
later.” Later by no means occurred, in fact. Because the guide itself was to be a
essentially factual account and given Niki’s well-known lack of curiosity in his
personal historical past, speaking to him about his particular person race performances was not
crucial to the narrative, truly. Both approach, he would most likely have stated to
me, ‘Why are you bothering with all this outdated sh*t?”

Anybody who has met the person or seen the Ron Howard epic RUSH, in regards to the 1976 World Championship battle between Lauda and James Hunt, will know that Niki is a dry, analytical thoughts with mechanical sympathy that borders on the sixth sense. Introduced up in a rich banking and political household in Salzburg, the thought of his going racing was a non-negotiable along with his father. However hey, it was the late-1960s, a time when youth was rebelling towards the establishment.

Lauda within the BMW CSL

Niki Lauda: His Competitors Historical past takes the reader from the very starting, when he gave the center finger to his household and started his pursuit of Formulation One – in an Austin Mini Cooper. Niki Lauda then drove a Formulation Vee Kaimann in 1969 and had a horrible Formulation Three season with McNamara in 1970 earlier than switching to a Porsche sports activities automotive; with progress stalling, he took out a mortgage to purchase a Formulation 2 seat at March in 1971.

Within the works March

Lauda then debuted with March on the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix and continued with the crew in 1972.  In 1973, Lauda went to BRM — nonetheless paying his approach with extra loans and revenue from racing touring vehicles — together with the enduring BMW CSL.  For all that effort, he solely had one points-scoring Formulation 1 end.

The controversial ‘Fan Automobile’ Brabham

Then Maranello got here calling. He received the World Championship
twice in 4 years, in 1975 and 1977, and made one of many best sporting
comebacks in historical past in 1976 after a horrific crash on the Nurburgring. Lauda
left for Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham crew for the 1978 season attributable to conflicts
inside the crew.

Lauda received the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix in Brabham’s borderline authorized ‘fan automotive.’ the crew’s He retired on the finish of 1979 for the primary time, ‘bored with driving spherical in circles’ and targeted as a substitute on his new airline enterprise, Lauda Air. However then tempted by an enormous wage provide, Lauda returned in 1982. By 1984 he secured his third World Championship. At season’s finish in 1985, with a profession tally of 25 Grand Prix victories, Lauda hung up his helmet for good.

Within the McLaren

The guide goes on as an instance his profession as a crew supervisor
and the next exams he did within the crew vehicles — as he famously did with the
Jaguar Crew, which he managed, within the early 2000s.

Lauda handed away final yr simply previous to the 2019 Monaco Grand
Prix. In racing circles he’s revered. This can be a guide that does his profession absolute

5 Stars

Niki Lauda: His Competitors Historical past

Creator: Jon Saltinstall ISBN 978-1-910505-46-5

Pages: 376

Format: 280x235mm hardback

Illustrations: 500 photographs

Writer: Evro Publishing


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