Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda —

Lauda put his 312B3 (15) on pole setting the first sub-seven minute lap, but a collision with Scheckter's Tyrrell forced him to retire from the 1974 German Grand Prix.

One of the drivers best remembered for their achievements is certainly the Austrian Niki Lauda. Lauda drove for March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham and McLaren and achieved 3 Drivers' World Championships. After 2 years in Formula One with mixed results he was signed up by Enzo Ferrari. Thanks to Lauda's frequent testing at Fiorano, Ferrari's private test track, the cars from Maranello got quicker and became much more reliable. Lauda was not only an extremely good driver, but he also had a very good understanding of the technical side of motor racing, which proved essential to develop the 312T into a race winner. He had a very good relationship with both team manager Luca di Montezemolo and his personal mechanic Ermanno Cuoghi. After a couple of laps Niki was already able to give the engineers the necessary feedback about the car's behaviour, which helped a lot to set up the cars properly. In 1975 the Ferrari 312T was the class of the field and allowed Lauda to become World Champion for the first time. In 1976 he was already way ahead in the championship standings when he had a horrifying accident at the Nürburgring. Niki had to miss two races, allowing James Hunt to catch up with him and snatch the title from him by just one point. Niki got his revenge in 1977 by becoming World Champion again. After two seasons with Brabham Lauda retired from motor racing, only to return a year later and become world champion again in 1982, driving for McLaren.

Having put his Ferrari 312T (23) on pole Lauda went on to win the 1975 Belgian Grand Prix on his way to become the 1975 World Champion.

In Monte Carlo the Ferraris ran like clockwork and after putting his Ferrari 312T (26) on pole Lauda convincingly won the 1976 Monaco Grand Prix.

The Ferrari team experimented with different rear wings. The one on Lauda's Ferrari 312T-2 (28) has a V-shaped leading edge and a straight trailing edge.

Driving absolutely on the limit Lauda is hitting the curbs in his Ferrari 312T-2 (28). He had a horrifying accident at Bergwerk on lap two of the 1976 German Grand Prix.

World Champion Niki Lauda had a troublesome practice in his ill handling Ferrari 312T-2 (30), but finished a sensational 2nd in the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix.

Having qualified only 11th for the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix Lauda drove masterfully in appalling weather conditions to finish a strong 2nd in his Ferrari 312T-2 (30).

Lauda qualified 2nd for the 1978 Belgian Grand Prix, but his race was short-lived when his Brabham BT46-4 collided with Scheckter's Wolf, forcing him to retire.

Having badly hurt his hand in a Procar event the day before the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix, Lauda called it a day after two laps, retiring the Brabham BT48-04.