Lauda could be set to re-join Ferrari

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During the 2015 United States GP, Niki Lauda revealed his role with the German TV Formula One broadcaster, RTL, may end this season. RTL made it known earlier this year they were considering dropping F1 from their programming, due to falling viewer numbers and the high price demanded by Ecclestone. A new contract beyond 2015 was eventually agreed, though inside rumours suggest the price for the FOM broadcasting fee was slashed.

There has been some disquiet amongst German F1 fans about how Niki Lauda’s has handled the multiple roles of ‘independent’ TV pundit, Chairman of Mercedes AMG F1 and President of the Lewis Hamilton fan club.

In recent weeks there have been rumblings within the Mercedes team about Lauda’s pejorative comments about Hamilton and Rosberg and the less than objective manner in which Niki has been conducting himself, given he is the Chairman of the board. So Lauda’s comments in Austin came as no surprise, given the Mercedes hierarchy in Stuttgart apparently wants the public Niki – reigning in.

Following the race in Austin, Niki Lauda gave his usual round of media interviews while Toto Wolff post-race duties were canceled and he was rushed from the circuit. A Mercedes PR spokesperson made it clear to reporters that Lauda is not an official team spokesperson, unlike Wolff.

There have been other suggestions that Niki Lauda could rejoin the Scuderia in some kind of ambassadorial role. He is still revered in Maranello for his contribution alongside a young Luca di Montezemolo in turning around a failing Ferrari F1 team in the mid 1970’s.

Lauda’s career both on track and afterwards has regularly demonstrated that Niki is a character who causes tension wherever he goes. This may explain the fact that longevity of employment is not something evident on the Austrian’s CV.

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37 responses to “Lauda could be set to re-join Ferrari

  1. When it comes to Italy how can you refuse

    Clothes, Italy
    Food, Italy
    Wine, Italy
    Women, Italy
    Cars, Italy
    F1 teams ….erm!?

  2. I’m sorry when did Niki become president of the Hamfosi, he didn’t ask my permission or got my approval? Need to have a word with him.

  3. Lauda could be set to re-join Ferrari…
    …as a replacement for Raikkonen.
    (the first thought to run through my head)
    Imagine my disappointment etc., etc…

    • “The “RAT” could join FERRARI”.
      (and my first thought to run through my head)
      Was trying to imagine that everybody at FERRARI went suddenly bonkers and or thejudge13 came out with the best joke of the year.

    • up against Mansell in the 2nd merc – teach these whippersnappers a few things eh? – put Jackie Stewart Kyat’s Red Bull while you’re at it..

      • I’m sure Surtees would be up for it, too.
        Who else would be in your fantasy grid? Moss? Prost? Zanardi?
        BTW, @schumerak, if you put Mansell’s faddass in a McHonda would it even have enough grunt to make it off the starting blocks? : )

  4. Should I care? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. No.
    Do I care? No. The Rat will run his own race.

    • Tsch… No matter what the subject, some people will find an excuse to mention the King of Bling……

      • Actually I wasnt referring to Lewis Hamilton nor would I call him king of bling – he’s quite a follower in that arena. Quite literally Mr. Me Too.

  5. “President of the Lewis Hamilton fan club”…..preemptive move to persuade #44 to Ferrari?

  6. When Todt started out at Maranello in 1993 Niki Lauda held simultaneously the role of “ambassodor” of some sort thanks to the good personal relations he always had with Montezemolo. This lloked like a bright idea with regards to Italian fans. But Lauda’s bad habit of being too frequently outspoken soon made clear that this situation was not going to last. Quite soon afterwards that same year, he had to leave. Todt never made this little detail public, but there is no doubt that he asked Montezemolo : It’s either me or him, not both. We know how the story went on. Bearing this in mind I don’t think he can return as an “ambassador” or whatever they might call such a PR role.

  7. Would that not raise a conflict of interest, considering he owns a 10% share of Mercedes F1? I suppose considering TW owns ~5% of Williams, he would just be joining the F1 owners club!

  8. First of all, Toto Wolff needs Niki with the team. The Daimler board could not be liking all of the things that they hear Niki saying. People presenting different viewpoints is important to success.

    He brings the racing driver perspective which is what the team needs in addition to the business and technical aspects. Toto is so business oriented and Paddy is so technically oriented that Niki provides a middle ground between the two sides.

    Niki Lauda says what he thinks and I’m sure that’s ruffled as few feathers in Stuttgart. He could be more objective in his support of Lewis and Nico. It’s very obvious that he’s a strong Lewis supporter and favors Lewis over Nico which is not a good thing if he’s the non-executive chairman of the team.

    I know that there are people trying to organize a boycott of Mercedes products because of reliability issues, customer service issues, etc. on the road car side and many people feel that Lewis Hamilton is damaging the Mercedes brand, don’t like the image he puts forth, the company that he keeps, and they feel that Lewis isn’t a good fit for the brand and that is another reason for them trying to organize the boycott. They feel that Nico is a better fit with what they think Mercedes should be. These are people that could buy 2-3 Mercedes at once in cash.

    If Niki leaves, the true test on Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe’s leadership skills and management skills will begin. I’m not convinced yet that Toto and Paddy will be able to effectively manage Nico and Lewis and the other team personnel without Niki’s input.

    I believe that the drivers should be handled the way that Ross Brawn would’ve handled them.

    How Toto Wolff handles Lewis Hamilton’s eventual departure from Mercedes will be the ultimate test of his leadership skills. Would Max Verstappen be a possibly if when Nico leaves and who would Toto get to replace Lewis?

    I also believe if Niki goes to Ferrari eventually Lewis Hamilton will follow him to Ferrari and then things will get interesting for Mercedes.

    • “I know that there are people trying to organize a boycott of Mercedes products because of reliability issues, customer service issues, etc. on the road car side and many people feel that Lewis Hamilton is damaging the Mercedes brand, don’t like the image he puts forth, the company that he keeps, and they feel that Lewis isn’t a good fit for the brand and that is another reason for them trying to organize the boycott. They feel that Nico is a better fit with what they think Mercedes should be. These are people that could buy 2-3 Mercedes at once in cash.”

      Who are ‘these company’ that he keeps that’s so damaging to the Mercedes brand?

      Mercedes image has increased tenfolds since Lewis joined the team. Oh by the way, he has been under the Mercedes banner since he was a teen, so he has far deeper ties to the brand than the very polished and so called ‘good for the brand’ Nico Rosberg.

      😏😏😏😏

      • The people trying to organize the boycott prefer a clean cut, educated, well spoken Nico Rosberg, who represents their vision of the Mercedes brand, instead of Lewis Hamilton with his tattoos, models, and hip hop musician friends. Nico Rosberg always looks and carries himself like he belongs in Town & Country magazine.

        There are several people that Lewis has seen been with in the past and it’s well known that they’re not above board. It’s very evident when he takes over his social media accounts rather than his public relations staff.

        He has been with Mercedes since he was a teen but many view it as a not so wise choice. They view it as Mercedes is being seen as turning into a gangster brand in an attempt to appeal to new markets instead of retaining it’s image as a classy brand.

        • “The people trying to organize the boycott prefer a clean cut, educated, well spoken Nico Rosberg, who represents their vision of the Mercedes brand, instead of Lewis Hamilton with his tattoos, models, and hip hop musician friends. Nico Rosberg always looks and carries himself like he belongs in Town & Country magazine.”

          The Nico Rosberg who was photographed while very drunk with a groupie and a mechanic at a party – all while married to his, then just-pregnant wife?! Oh yeah, THAT Nico Rosberg. And notice, if you can recall that photo (was it posted here at The Judge?), also recall how Rosberg went completely silent for a short period of time until the potential ill winds were calmed by a compliant F1 media that utterly failed to ask any questions about Rosberg relative to the goings on at the party.

          Let that be Lewis Hamilton.

          So Lewis Hamilton hangs out with hip-hop artists and models (don’t forget beloved pop singers, too). So Lewis Hamilton has tattoos (he’s the only F1 driver with them, right? RIGHT?!). Now, that sounds dangerously gangster doesn’t it??? Pharrell, Rhianna, What’s her Name from the Pussycat Dolls. Whooo- those scary people!!

          BUT.

          Let me ask a question: Is Lewis Hamilton in convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s “Little Black book” in the pages of people who fly with him in his private jet; the people for whom the pedo has their addresses and private phone numbers? No. But I’ll tell you who is: Eddie Irvine, Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.

          Now who, in reality, is better suited to sell Mercedes cars – drunk Nico? Anyone associated with Briatore/Renault? Eddie Irvine (who is also a Donald Trump buddy – and Trump is all over Epstein’s book)? Bernie and his pals?… or Lewis Hamilton. http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/article1503132.ece (you’ll need a subscription to view the entire article in The Sunday Times) and here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2894911/Andrew-age-sex-slave-Duke-denies-claim-court-papers-teen-picked-sleep-Robert-Maxwell-s-daughter.html (scroll down to the blue box sidebar for F1 names).

          Me thinks these “boycotters” are pots calling the kettle black (pun intended).

  9. Lewis Hamilton isn’t a “good fit” with the “buy 2-3 Mercedes in cash crowd” on any F1 team. But hey, expand the visibility of the sport, i.e. make it more popular with a younger generation of people with burgeoning bank accounts? Whay would F1 want to do that???

    • …and expand on America too! Why would F1 and Merc want that? Younger generation, with money, and expand in America…baffles me!

    • People want to see the sport expanded in the United States just not with Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Daniel Riccardo, Max Verstappen, etc. are thought of as good choices to expand the sport and for kids to follow and emulate not Lewis Hamilton.

      • You know, I respect Lewis even though I’m not a fan. You could say I don’t even like him, but this REALLY rubs me the wrong way. Smacks of racism. Not by you, but by whomever those “people” are.

        • It doesn’t smacks of racism, it is bloody RACISM!!!

          Those ‘people’ she’s referring to also includes her.

      • Was 1 Of Your Posts Deleted ?

        If I Would Only Be A Fan Of A SportsPerson With A PC Fan Base, I Would Not Be Able To Be A Fan Of Anyone.

        I Have A Brain Of My Own – The Way Everybody Else Acts, I Could Not Care Less About.

        There Are Jerk Fans On Either Side Of The Spectrum ( Rings Any Bells ? ).

        F1 Is An Entertainment Business And Right Now LEWIS Is The Top Star, Like It Or Not.

        LEWIS Nationality Means Nothing To Me, And I Do Hate Rap Music, Also – Can You Say The Same About Your Hero(es) ?

        GO, 44 !

  10. LAUDA Lured LEWIS Into The MERCS.

    For Me, It Would Be A Dream Come True If He Did The Same For The BIG REDS.

    LEWIS In RED, Please.

    GO, 44 !

  11. Well after HandshakeGate he is unlikely to be joining Red Bull but in Laudaworld anything is possible.

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