F1 legend Niki Lauda getting perfect revenge on rude journalist in 1977

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.

Austrian racing driver Niki Lauda (1949 – 2019) begins his racing career at the 1973 Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit Zolder in Belgium, 20th May 1973. (Photo by McCarthy/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“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**.”

Niki Lauda of Austria and driver of the #8 Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 lifts the RAC Trophy and celebrates winning the Marlboro British Grand Prix on 18 July 1982 at the Brands Hatch circuit in Fawkham, Great Britain. (Photo by Adrian Murrell/Getty Images)

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.

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 18: Niki Lauda, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Non-Executive Chairman attends the 2016 Laureus World Sports Awards at Messe Berlin on April 18, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for Laureus)

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.

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