Three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda died on Monday at the age of 70.
Venturi Formula E team boss Susie Wolff reflected on her relationship with the late Niki Lauda ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Berlin ePrix on Saturday.
The wife of Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, Susie had not only a professional relationship with Lauda but also a personal one. Formula E held a moment of silence for the three-time Formula 1 champion before the start of the race in the German capital.
“I think Niki’s story, what he achieved when he was an active racer, obviously that was partly before I was even born, and I got to know him towards the end when he was involved at Mercedes,” said Wolff. “I knew him more as Niki the human being rather than Niki the racer, but he was an icon within the world of motorsport. Someone who had achieved so much but stayed relevant for his whole career, and someone who brought so much flair to the Mercedes Formula 1 team.”
“He’ll be so sorely missed but never forgotten, but I think as motorsport progresses, we’ll always look back on the legend that was Niki Lauda.”
Talking of the relationship that Lauda was able to create with drivers, Wolff said, “That was one of his big assets, that he was from one sense on the business side of the team, but he was very able to relate to what the drivers were going through and what they were feeling.
“With Niki, there was no grey. It was black and white. He absolutely said it as it was, even if it was something that shocked you. You’d be like, ‘Niki you can’t ask that,’ and he’d say, ‘Sure I can ask that, what’s the answer?'”
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