(Motorsport-Total.com) – The death of Niki Lauda on 20. May 2019 struggle for the whole Formula 1 a serious loss. The mourning of the Mercedes crew, and especially Lewis Lewis, who had a close relationship with the Austrian, struggles particularly hard.
Hamilton stopped during the time after Laudas lung transplant in summer 2018 regular contact with him – even if it was often difficult for him to see his friend seriously ill. “To see him like this struggle really hard,” says Hamilton.
“We sent videos to the user. I had seen him in his worst crisis, but he came back And when he was in a wheelchair, I really struggled with hope. But then he had another relapse and he was worse. “
Last visit brought back painful memories
In this portion Hamilton paid Lauda a last visit, which required a lot from him , “It was a shock to see my friend lying in bed and connected to devices,” says Hamilton, at the sight of which aroused painful memories.
Photo gallery: Farewell to Niki Lauda
Austria says goodbye to Niki Lauda: A laurel wreath and a racing helmet lie on the closed coffin. Photo gallery
“My aunt died of cancer, so I had experienced it before. But it is always a shock,” said the World Champion. At the same time, he also realized that this visit to Lauda would probably be a farewell visit.
“You could still feel his charisma, but it was slowly disappearing. His fighting spirit also left him slowly after, which is somehow extraordinary after such a long fight. Nevertheless, it hit me. “
Hamilton : Wouldn't be here without Niki
Meanwhile more than half a year has passed since Lauda's death. But grief is still present at Hamilton. “I miss him a lot. I miss his messages. I miss each other's videos,” he says. “I have saved many of our conversations, and I read them again and again.”
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“Without his support, I might never have switched to this crew,” thinks Hamilton Laudas role in his move from McLaren to Mercedes before the Season 2013 back. “And without his support I might not be with this crew today. I think without him the crew would never have had this success.”
“He went to the board, put pressure on them and kicked them in the butt. He did it best, “Hamilton recalls Lauda as chairman of the racing team. “At the same time he always struggles honestly to me. He struggles a kind of work link.”
Not always good friends
“Toto [Wolff] may struggle racing drivers, but the relaxation of the board was not a racing driver. To have a real champion who understands and can empathize with how difficult it is to deliver every weekend if you make a mistake … He could do that very well. It was a very big support for me. “
But the relationship between Lauda and Hamilton has not always been so tight. Before Hamilton's move to Mercedes, both had little contact and Hamilton had perceived Lauda primarily as someone “who says certain things about me on TV and didn't seem to have a particularly good opinion of me.”
“And suddenly I struggle in a pain where I had to make a big decision and Niki called me,” remembers Hamilton. “I thought: 'Wow, I'm talking to a three-time world champion', but basically I didn't know him at all. I couldn't trust this guy on the phone. But then I sat with Niki and Ross [Brawn] in a hotel room , and so everything developed. “