F1'S GREATEST DRIVERS - AUTOSPORT persuaded 217 world championship Formula 1 heroes to vote for the all-time greates driver

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NIKI LAUDA

AUSTRIA

Niki Lauda

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The Austrian was regarded as a no-mark when he bought his way into Formula 1 with March after an average career in F3 and F2, but some eye-catching performances with BRM in 1973 earned him a surprise move to Ferrari.

A Ferrari driver hadn't won the world championship since 1964 (sound familiar, Schumacher fans?) and the Austrian helped to galvanise the team into fulfilling its potential. After one season, he had displaced Clay Regazzoni as team leader and comfortably won the 1975 world championship.

He'd have won three-in-a-row but for his near-fatal accident at the Nurburgring in 1976, but despite winning the 1977 title left Ferrari for Brabham, partly because of what he felt was the team not backing him as lead driver when he returned from injury.

After retiring in 1979, his four-year return with McLaren resulted in the 1984 world championship and rounded out one of the most remarkable careers in F1.

Niki Lauda

YOUR SAY

Should Niki Lauda be higher or lower in F1's greatest drivers?

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STATISTICS

Born22 Feb 1949
Age65
Active years1971 - 1985
Champion1975, 1977, 1984
Presences177
Starts171
Wins25
Podiums54
Poles24
Front row31
Fastest laps24
Races led41

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