Bye Niki. As novice to racing and F1, long time ago I've arrived to Kyalami track without expectations, however as a good neighbor, I've rooted for you in that race, felt your (ignition) pain, and deep love for the sport. More importantly, I have to credit you with making F1 life long affair, journey, for me. RIP my friend. You will be missed.
so sad to hear news of Niki Lauda this morning its almost shock, because what he's been through you assume that he's indestructible. what a man, 3 time world champion, huge fighter i said when tiger woods won the masters that niki lauda was the greatest comeback in sport & he will be huge loss to paddock as always great to listen to as proof that post qualifying they always chatted to niki but not always toto. because he was straight talking & told the truth no spin
James Hunt told the story of how Lauda burst into his hotel room on the morning of the Canadian GP in 76, fully suited and booted, helmet under his arm and shouted "today I will win the world championship" before storming out again.
Edit, found the quote. It was Watkins Glen.
"It was funny, that weekend at the Glen. Niki and I had adjoining rooms in the hotel, with a connecting door. Early on race morning he came stomping over to my bed, already in his overalls, and announced, ‘Today I vill vin ze Vorld Championship!’ Whether he was being funny or trying to psyche me out, I don’t know, but I just dissolved into helpless laughter"
When you consider the relationship between Hunt and Lauda and how they remained friends under the extreme pressure of that season, it is difficult to imagine two drivers from rival teams going for the championship remaining friends like that today.
Had Niki Lauda done no more than 3 WDCs he would have been a great; but he was also so many more things as well. His bravery to get back into an F1 car alone is immense, as was his friendliness and sense of humour even in the most stressful times.