Damon Hill believes that Niki Lauda was one of the few men who could sit down with Formula 1 supremos Enzo Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone with a manner that would show them “he meant business”, while Martin Brundle has also paid tribute to the Austrian.
Lauda passed away on Tuesday morning during his attempted recovery from kidney problems, with the F1 world subsequently sharing their tributed to the three-time world champion.
Never one to mince his words, Lauda freely spoke his mind throughout his career and famously refused to take part in the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix as he deemed the track to be too unsafe. It is his no-nonsense attitude which Hill reckons earned him the respect of Ferrari and Ecclestone.
"He was one of the few men who could sit down with Enzo Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone, look them straight in the eye and they knew he meant business,” he said.
"He was a remarkable individual in every way
Oh no. The man himself is no longer with us 😢. A great human being, determined, relentless, talented, passionate, forthright, honest, humble, and great company. Living on borrowed time since his awful crash in 1976, he certainly made the absolute most of that gift. RIP Niki https://t.co/WRSsBL3TUV
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