Niki Lauda speaks at Autosport

Three-time World Driving Champion (1975, '77, '84) Niki Lauda took time to speak to the multitudes at the Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham, England. There ostensibly to join Prof. Syd Watkins in a lecture on safety in motorsport,...

Three-time World Driving Champion (1975, '77, '84) Niki Lauda took time to speak to the multitudes at the Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham, England. There ostensibly to join Prof. Syd Watkins in a lecture on safety in motorsport, Lauda spoke on the Autosport stage about the sport that he has been involved with for nearly four decades.

The "rat" as he was none reflected on the changes in the sport since he last drove, primarily with respect to safety advancements. He cited the fact that in addition to impro9ving the safety for racers at all levels, the sport has become more family friendly with the nearly complete elimination of gruesome accidents, and that it has been a large factor in the sports overall growth.

"In my day two or three drivers were killed every season," Lauda said. "Today, thankfully, that is not the case."

Lauda was also asked for his opinion on the future of Formula One. The always candid Lauda responded that rapid development of the sport made long term prediction impossible. He conceded however that the improving overtaking in races in the short term would enable the sport to maintain its dramatic growth.

While on the subject of the growth of F1, Lauda hailed the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis as a significant addition to the schedule. The positive promotion that F1 has gained around the event and its return to America can only be seen as a boon to the sport, according to Lauda.

-George Tamayo

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Series Formula 1 , General
Drivers Niki Lauda