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F1 News: Niki Lauda to be buried in Ferrari Racing Suit

George Howson
731   //    28 May 2019, 15:57 IST

Niki Lauda raced for Ferrari between 1974 and 77.
Niki Lauda raced for Ferrari between 1974 and 77.

Although it's been more than a week since Niki Lauda left this world, it's something that many of us haven't gone over yet. The three-time Formula 1 World Champion was one of the greatest drivers to ever pilot a Grand Prix car and will be sorely missed by all of us who knew his story.

The Austrian competed in F1 between 1971 and '79 before taking a 2-year sabbatical and returning for 1982 to '85. Lauda drove for McLaren, Brabham, March and BRM during his career, but he's best remembered for his time at Ferrari and the news has broken that he will be buried wearing that famous red suit.

The funeral will take place on Wednesday in the famous Döbling Cemetery in Vienna with the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Gerhard Berger, Bernie Ecclestone and the President of Austria all in attendance.

Why is Lauda's time at Ferrari so special?

Lauda carried the scars from his 1976 crash for the rest of his life.
Lauda carried the scars from his 1976 crash for the rest of his life.

Younger Formula 1 fans and those who haven't watched Rush may not be familiar with Lauda's story, but it's one that's totally unique. Ferrari were struggling in the early 1970's but thanks to the appointments of Luca di Montezemolo trackside and Niki Lauda as a driver in 1973, the Scuderia's fortunes quickly turned around.

Lauda won his first driver's championship in 1975 and looked set to make it back-to-back title victories but a horrific crash at the Nurburgring seemingly curtailed that challenge. Lauda was badly burned, had inhaled dangerous amounts of toxic fumes and was even administered the last rights but amazingly, he survived his injuries. In what was a true testament to the man's character, Lauda was back in the car for the Italian GP at Monza, just six weeks after his accident and finished an astounding P4.

Niki lost the championship that year by a single point from James Hunt, but would go on to win the championship the following year and even won a third title with McLaren in 1984. He is a legend at Ferrari and McLaren as well as Mercedes, where he helped establish the Silver Arrows' current dominance, but nobody will dispute his decision to be carried into the afterlife wearing Maranello Red.

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