Jan.3 (GMM) Niki Lauda has admitted he admires his Austrian compatriot Dr Helmut Marko.

Triple world champion Lauda is Mercedes' new non-executive chairman.

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

The German business newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday reported that he is stepping down from the board of the airline Air Berlin.

"The 63-year-old wants to dedicate his future to his role in the Formula One team Mercedes," the report said, adding that Air Berlin has confirmed the news.

Lauda's task is to steer Mercedes in the right direction after the three-year period of Michael Schumacher's unsuccessful return to F1.

He sees Red Bull's Marko - the outspoken, brusque character who like Lauda is the link between the main company and the F1 team - as a role model.

"He's the tough dog," Lauda told Austrian television Servus TV, "holding everything together and ensuring no one works against the other.

"When you have this harmonious effect from the smallest mechanic to the head designer all pulling together, you can have this outstanding result," he said, referring to Red Bull's three year domination of the sport.

"This applies to many companies in the world," Lauda continued. "If all worked as Red Bull do in Formula One, then they would all be much more successful."