The Mercedes non-executive chairman, who recently underwent a lung transplant, Niki Lauda, revealed the role that he played in enticing Lewis Hamilton to make the switch from McLaren, to Mercedes in 2013. He said the move was all about providing the British driver with a new and stern challenge, but also how he could be perceived as being better than the best driver in the history of Formula one.
Niki Lauda had stated previously how he had thought Lewis Hamilton to be “completely mad” after a questionable performance at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011. “What Hamilton did there goes beyond all boundaries,” Niki Lauda told RTL television during that time. “He’s completely mad. If the FIA does not punish him, I do not understand the world any more”, Lauda had said. “At some point there has to be an end to all the jokes. You cannot drive like this, as it will result in someone getting killed.”
This criticism from Lauda had incorporate a negative idea about him in Lewis Hamilton’s head. However the Brit says, that things have softened up between them now, and he hold him in reverence. “I love Niki, I miss him and I hope he will be back soon, but originally I did not have a high opinion of Niki”, said Hamilton. “I often send him a video from the box or from the engineering briefing and keep him up to date on what’s going on here,” said Hamilton. “He called me last week, it was so nice to finally hear his voice again”, he added. “He was very happy that the operation went well, he was joking and in a good mood,”
Niki Lauda has had a successful lung transplant operation and rumors are ripe that he is planning to make an appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Later this year.