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Summary

The most comprehensive and detailed biography of Formula One legend Nick Lauda ever published, as told by Maurice Hamilton, who knew him for more than 40 years. From the famous rivalry with James Hunt in the 1970s, as depicted in the film Rush, to working with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Lauda's career helped define modern F1.

In 1975, Lauda became world champion for the first time. Driving for Ferrari, he looked to retain his title in 1976 and was dominating the campaign ahead of James Hunt in his McLaren. Then, on 1 August, he was involved in a horrendous crash at the Nurburgring and was badly burned; in hospital he was given the last rites, so severe were his injuries. Remarkably, six weeks later, he was back racing again, determined to show he could still compete. As they came to the final race of the season in Japan, Lauda held a narrow lead in the championship, but in appalling weather conditions, Lauda withdrew from the race, while Hunt went on to secure the points he needed to become world champion. It was high-speed drama at its best.

Lauda came back to win the title again in 1977, and then, having temporarily retired, he won it for a third time in 1984, driving for McLaren. When he finally finished as an F1 driver, he started his own airline before he returned to the sport in various management roles, latterly as chairman of Mercedes, where he helped in the negotiations to bring Lewis Hamilton to the team. 

Maurice Hamilton, who first met Lauda in 1971, draws together the remarkable story of one of the greatest stars in Formula One history. Based on interviews with friends and family, rival drivers and those he worked with later in his career, Niki Lauda is a superb and definitive tribute to a remarkable character who died in May 2019 at the age of 70.

©2020 Maurice Hamilton (P)2020 Simon & Schuster UK

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  • Overall
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Fantastic book

I am not a F1 fan but I had heard of NL and had watched Rush, so had fingers crossed when I got it.

Was well written and narrated, credit to all involved was a great read.

I feel as though I know NL.



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Great book, well read

Very well written and enjoyable to follow such a crazy and staggering life. Accents were a little patchy but still nice to hear attempts. Best read/split as two books rather than one. IMO

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My first F1 hero.

How to cover everything I feel about Lauda and his life story? To start with, the day of his first return back at Monza in 1975 was the very day of my birth... Not relevant to his story but mine to his. He won his first championship that year.
The last championship he won was the first year I started actively watching F1. He was my first F1 hero. I didn't remember, or even seem to have seen, his scars, I only noticed them when I was much older and more aware of peoples looks, I guess.
I learnt a lot about him here and truly appreciate it.

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Niki Lauda

For any motor racing fan this is a must book absolutely brilliant portrayal of a great man in many ways

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I loved it. Great book. Good performance.

I found this to be a very inciteful biography of a fascinating man.

The performance was good, although there were some dodgy accents. And I listen to the Archers so am a bit too familiar with the voice.

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A Fitting Tribute to a Champion

I have been following F1 for nearly forty years and this biography of Lauda is one of the best ways I have heard the subject of F1 written from a driver's perspective and that of a World champion. Maurice Hamilton provides a definitive account of the career of Lauda along with anecdotes and interviews with family, friends and colleagues who knew and worked with Niki.

Andrew Wincott delivers a fine performance by managing to accurately capture the personality of the many people involved in Lauda's story. He manages to provide an accent and match the speaking style of many of Niki's contemporaries.

I would recommend this book for any F1 fan who wants to know the story of F1 of which Niki Lauda was such an intrinsic part.

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Great man. Good book.

Really enjoyed this book. Wish that there had been more about his life with his families, but that is my only gripe. Fascinating story about an amazing man and of the cutthroat world of F1.

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It's very good.

No complaints. Its a well written book, the narrator does a great job and the story is engaging.