Alain Prost has revealed the key life lesson that Niki Lauda taught him when they were McLaren team-mates – not allowing his problems in races to affect him away from the track. Lauda and Prost formed a fearsome partnership for McLaren in 1984 and 1985, the Austrian taking his third world title in this period.
Lauda's passing at the age of 70 was confirmed this week, prompting an outpouring of tributes from across the Formula 1 world.
Prost referred to the Austrian as his "idol" in the paddock, and revealed how the public persona of Lauda was not always accurate.
"Niki was nicknamed the computer," Prost told AFP. "This image stuck to his skin when he was far from being a computer.
"He was someone who knew the difference between work and private life, who really knew how to decompress and who taught me a lot about it.
"After the Grand Prix, I was disgusted when I had a mechanical incident or something like that and one night he took me to a nightclub and we started drinking whiskey and Coke, which had never happened in my life.
"We laughed a lot and he said to me, 'See, it's a good way to forget what happened, and from tomorrow on you never think about what's behind it again.'
"That was his philosophy: there is work, there is fun. Since that time, I still have boxes in my life and I don't mix things up. Niki taught me that. Our friendship never ceased after that."
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