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Summary

Longlisted for The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Prize 2020.

Niki Lauda was one of the greatest stars in motor racing – a superb driver on the track and a much-loved personality off it. From his famous rivalry with James Hunt in 1976, as depicted in the film Rush, to working with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, his career helped define modern Formula One.

Six weeks after the 1976 crash at the notorious Nürburgring that left him burned and receiving the last rites while obituaries were written, Niki Lauda stepped back into his Ferrari at Monza to defend his first World Champion title. Jackie Stewart called it ‘the most courageous thing I have ever witnessed in sport’. Lauda and Hunt were playing cat-and-mouse for the championship. At the final race of the season in Japan, the weather was appalling and conditions treacherous. Lauda had a narrow lead and an agonising decision to make – high-speed drama at its best.

Following his extraordinary recovery from the accident, Lauda won the title in 1977 and again, following a return from retirement, in 1984 with McLaren. When he eventually hung up his helmet for good, he started his own airline and had to deal with the horrendous aftermath when one of his aircraft crashed, killing all 223 on board. He later returned to the sport in various management roles and successfully persuaded Lewis Hamilton to join Mercedes.

Maurice Hamilton first came across Lauda in 1971 and in this definitive biography tells his remarkable story. Based on interviews with friends, family, rival drivers and colleagues, it is a superb tribute to a brave, supremely talented and much-missed star of Formula One.

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

Critic reviews

"The definitive biography of a racing driver who won three World Championship titles." (Matt Dickinson, The Times, Sports Books of the Year)

"Thoroughly gripping...a fitting tribute." (Justin Marozzi, Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Niki Lauda

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  • 04-11-21

Excellent!

Very good .A great insight to an all time great! well read. thank you.Recomend.

1 person found this helpful

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difinitive !

brilliantly told, a true sporting legend, a must for any F1 fan, powerful, moving and inspiring.

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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.