Here is a common saying. Courage is one of the most important attributes of an athlete. Showing resilience, the athlete becomes a star, and later- iconic.
So, one wonders, can Formula 1 really offer a Niki Lauda tribute without being stuck in the rigmarole of finding the brand ambassador of the term “great”?
Because, we are in an age where the phrase “great” is constantly bandaged around, without anyone ever realizing what it really is.
Could it be that there could be simpler ways out there other than feeling the need to restrict Lewis in the confines of “Hammertime, Alonso in an “El Nino Storm”, and Kimi, in the temperate zones, i.e., “The Iceman!”
In that sense of the word, let’s dispense with silly titles.
Let’s focus our attention on a great of the sport, one who didn’t really need a nickname, whether or not self-anointed, and one who was, perhaps, in the true sense of the word- resilient; a bit like the sport, a bit like no other.
Niki Lauda, who left for the heavenly abode, was the son of an Austrian business tycoon. He never wanted to follow what he understood was something like a “suffocating” way of being, which was, his family business.
In an age where greed is an ever-constant, revenue the destination for pretty much everything we do, it must be said that there’s a sense in offering a Niki Lauda tribute, one that touches upon character as much as his statistical attributes,
He wasn’t in it for the money.
Not that he was “well settled” when he moved out of his comfortable Austrian banking family (abode).
Not that his father approved of racing, howsoever unaware that Niki was capable enough to forge his own path, having not been destitute.
But a thing can be said for certain, in no uncertain terms,
That there was a man, who won it all, found a place in that grey area between life and death
Someone who sensed that it is pure racing that he was up for
For it drove him endlessly, akin to man being a zombie on crystal meth,
And in doing all the above, Niki proved that it’s not about the 24 poles and the 24 fastest laps,
Neither is it about the 3 world titles or about winning in the end- needless to say, minus a bloodbath
Only then can one feel the “Rush” called life,
For if one were to be anything else but himself, there would be no victory, only strife!