“That Backfired On Me” – Horner Regrets Encouraging Niki Lauda to Go After Lewis Hamilton in 2014

Published 03/15/2022, 5:28 AM EDT
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Niki Lauda, Non-Executive Chairman, Mercedes AMG, with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG. Courtesy: Getty

Christian Horner has admitted to convincing legend Niki Lauda to sign Lewis Hamilton back in 2012. Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, after spending six seasons with the Woking-based team. Since then, the 37-year-old has gone on to become one of the most successful driver in F1 history.

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Horner also had numerous conversations with Lauda, who worked as a Non-Executive Chairman for Mercedes to sign Hamilton. He said, “Niki Lauda was at Mercedes and was very keen to take Lewis and I remember encouraging him to take him.”

“We were fighting McLaren and in 2012, they had the fastest car and we felt that Lewis in a McLaren would be more of a threat than in a Mercedes.”

“I encouraged Niki to spend the money as Lewis was wavering a little bit. It would be fair to say that backfired on me,” he concluded.

Hamilton now enters his 10th season with Mercedes aiming to win a record-breaking 8th Drivers’ Championship. Currently, he is tied with former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher.

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The Brit was narrowly denied a chance at making history after losing out in the final stages of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With one race to go, Hamilton was level on points with Verstappen, with the winner going on to win the Championship.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 12, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

However, a late safety car followed by a controversial decision from former race director Michael Masi allowed Verstappen to narrow the gap on his rival. With fresher tires, Verstappen made the move on the final lap and overtook Hamilton, thus claiming his first World Championship.

The 7-time Champion will be hungry to win back the title in 2022, teaming up with fellow countryman George Russell. Russell joined from Williams, replacing Valtteri Bottas. The duo have looked impressive in pre-season testing but were struggling for pace on the straights.

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Moreover, this season will be pivotal for Hamilton after turning 37 this year. He will be hoping to break the all-time record in 2022, after claiming more than 100 race wins in his glorious career.

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Mario Fernandes

156 articles

Mario Fernandes is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his graduation in Mathematics, followed by a Post Graduation Diploma in Journalism. Mario has been a sportsman and a sports fan from a very young age and has represented his school and college in sports like soccer, tennis, and cricket at the district level.

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