Five of Nicki Lauda’s best races
Nicki Lauda said “A lot of people criticize Formula 1 as an unnecessary risk. But what would life be like if we only did what is necessary?” The F1 legend, who died earlier this year, lived his own life by that maxim.
- 1974 Spanish GP
In his first season at Ferrari, he started on pole and had a tricky start in the rain-affected race, but tactics came into play and despite trailing for much of the encounter, Lauda led home a Ferrari one two in front of teammate Clay Regazzoni as the race ended early, due to rain. It was Ferrari’s first win for two years and set down a marker for Lauda’s career.
2. 1975 Monaco
The jewel in the crown for F1 drivers is the Monaco Grand Prix. Over Lauda’s career, it was not his favourite track.
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In 1975, Lauda had the car and proved he had the skills taking pole. He took the flag with a lead of just over two seconds, handing Ferrari their first win at Monaco for 20 years. He won the title that year.
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3. 1976 Monza
His accident at Nurburgring threatened his life, but just 42 days later, Lauda returned to his car for Ferrari’s home race in Monza. After finishing fourth and removing his balaclava, blood was seen on Lauda’s face after dressings on his wounds were torn away.
4. Estoril 1984
After retiring in 1979, Lauda returned to F1 with McLaren, teamed with the French tyro, Alain Prost. In Portugal, Lauda had to finish second if Prost won the race. Nigel Mansell’s retirement handed him the spot and the drivers’ title.
5. Zandvoort 1985
In what was to be his final season, Lauda was let down by his car, retiring eight times in 10 races. The Dutch Grand Prix was a classic, as again he came from the back on the grid to overhaul Prost and register his 25th and final F1 victory.
Following Lauda’s death this year, the sport paid tribute to one of its greats.
The Austrian ace lived by his words and will be remembered as one of the bravest drivers to participate in the sport.