On what would have been Niki Lauda’s 73rd birthday, we look back at this great story of when the Austrian F1 racer got perfect vengeance.
After winning the Championship in 1975, the Austrian suffered an awful accident in the 1976 German Grand Prix.
His Ferrari burst into flames and he received severe burns to his skin.
Remarkably, Lauda came back to the grid in just six weeks after his accident.
He lost the 1976 championship to his rival, James Hunt, but came back the following year and won the 1977 championship.
Lauda confronted a journalist in a press conference after his win in the South African Grand Prix.
“I know you don’t I?” Lauda asked a journalist.
“I don’t think so” the journalist replied.
However, the Austrian was adamant that he knew the individual: “I remember. You’re the guy who asked me what my wife would do now that I was ugly.”
Lauda lifted his championship trophy, pointed to the journalist and said:
“Well, you can shove this up you’re a**.”
The F1 legend had silenced his hater(s), face to face.
After that, Lauda went on to retire in 1979 after frustration with his Brabham BT46B which kept spinning out for the whole of his Brabham-Alfa Romeo tenure.
However, the Austrian came back in 1982 and joined McLaren.
Lauda won his third and last championship in 1984 by half a point over his teammate Alain Prost.
He announced his retirement at his home country’s Grand Prix in 1985.
In Lauda’s post-driving career, his love for F1 never stopped, as he joined Mercedes as a non-executive chairman in 2013, helping them be the most dominant F1 constructors.
After Mercedes extended the contract of their F1 superstar, Lewis Hamilton, last year, CEO Toto Wolff claimed that Lauda was there in spirit to help guide the talks.
Lauda is an inspiration and a F1 Icon that will never be forgotten, may he continue to rest in peace.