Berger: Lauda would have prevented Hamilton’s Ferrari move

As the Formula 1 world always races towards the future, it took a poignant pause on Thursday to commemorate what would have been the 75th birthday of Niki Lauda, a towering figure whose legacy is deeply interwoven with the sport’s history. Gerhard Berger, a friend and fellow Austrian F1 legend, shared his thoughts with Germany’s Auto Bild on Lauda’s impact, particularly in light of recent events. “He would have done everything to ensure that Lewis Hamilton didn’t go to Ferrari,” Berger revealed, hinting at Lauda’s dedication to Mercedes and his potential actions to retain Hamilton had he been around. “That would have freaked him out – and he might have prevented it,” he added, suggesting Lauda’s influential role within the team might have altered the course of F1’s driver market.

Dr. Helmut Marko, while on the opposite side of the competitive fence, shared a close bond with Lauda. Speaking to Sport1, Marko offered a glimpse into the personal relationship that transcended their professional rivalry. “Niki was my constant companion throughout my entire career,” Marko confessed, highlighting a friendship that endured the tests of time and competition. Lauda’s public persona as an “egoist” and a “hard businessman” was, according to Marko, just the surface of a man who was “deep down…a good, generous person.”

Marko’s reflection on their shared moments and the mutual respect that defined their interactions sheds light on the depth of Lauda’s character. “I miss him very, very much. Especially our breakfasts together. Like me, he always got straight to the point. And of course there were arguments,” Marko reminisced, acknowledging the dynamic nature of their friendship that was filled with directness and occasional disputes. Yet, it was this very straightforwardness and the ability to reconcile that Marko valued, underscoring Lauda’s unique place in his life and the broader F1 world.

Lauda’s legacy, as recounted by Marko, is one of irreplaceable stature, characterized by a blend of personality, humor, and forthrightness that set him apart. “There is no one in the entire Formula 1 world who could hold a candle to Niki in terms of personality, humour and straightforwardness. It didn’t matter to him whether he offended anyone. And he didn’t need any contracts either,” Marko said, painting a picture of a man who navigated the world of Formula 1 on his own terms, leaving an indelible mark on the sport and those within it.

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