Gallery: All of Niki Lauda's F1 cars

On the anniversary of the death of the great Niki Lauda, we look back at the cars that helped define his brilliant career and were observed up close by Giorgio Piola.

Gallery: All of Niki Lauda's F1 cars

Lauda stands out not only as a driver, but as an irreplaceable persona who helped shape the sport over the course of four decades.

First he was a racer with March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham and McLaren, but he later became a consultant and ambassador for the likes of Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes.

Piola describes Lauda as the greatest personality he ever met, and characterises his return to the sport, just three races after his life-threatening accident, as nothing short of a miracle.

Lauda, he continues, was a no nonsense, straightforward individual who never looked for excuses and dealt with things in a black and white way.

One example he cited was when his McLaren was disqualified for being underweight at the Belgian GP in 1982.

Rather than try to justify what happened, as most drivers would do, Lauda admitted that he felt stupid for knowingly allowing himself to drive an illegal car.

Here we look at his great cars.

March 721
March 721
1/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The 721 was the second March car that Lauda would drive and featured the oddball 'tea-tray' front wing that was elevated above the nosecone. There were three iterations of the 721, none of which lived up to their billing and Lauda left the team at the end of the 1972 season in search of a better seat.
BRM P160
BRM P160
2/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Having switched allegiances for 1973, Lauda drove three iterations of the BRM car that season - C through E. Each development aimed to improve its performance and standing.
BRM P160D
BRM P160D
3/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The P160 was powered by the team's own V12 engine and proved to be unreliable. Lauda drove the 'D' in South Africa before achieving his best result of the season in Belgium, taking fifth place.
Ferrari 312B3 evolution
Ferrari 312B3 evolution
4/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Irrespective of his results at BRM, Lauda established himself as a driver to watch and moved with Clay Regazzoni to Ferrari for 1974. Political turmoil at Ferrari had led to famed engineer Mauro Forgheiri being moved on to other projects, but reinstated shortly after. On his return he set about making changes to its 312B3 that would change its fortunes.
Ferrari 312B3
Ferrari 312B3
5/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Having languished down in sixth position during 1973, the Scuderia needed to bounce back and with both Lauda and Regazzoni behind the wheel they did just that. Lauda captured two wins and three second place finishes, whilst Clay Regazzoni had less wins but consistently scored more points, as both helped to propel Ferrari to second place in the championship.
Ferrari 312T
Ferrari 312T
6/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Three races into the 1975 season, Ferrari delivered a hammer blow to the other teams when it introduced the 312T, the T standing for transversely mounted gearbox which now sat ahead of the rear axle line in order to alter the car's behaviour. Lauda would wield the car with devastating effect, as he went on to win his first championship via five wins and three podiums, with Ferrari also able to claim its first title in 11 years.
Ferrari 312T
Ferrari 312T
7/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Continuing how he'd left off, Lauda took back-to-back victories and a second place finish in the first three races of 1976. For the fourth round, the 312T would become the 312T2 as regulatory changes were made to alter the dimensions of the cars. Nonetheless, Ferrari's grip on F1 seemed irrepressible, with Lauda taking three victories and two podiums in the next five rounds.
Ferrari 312T2
Ferrari 312T2
8/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Then disaster struck, as Lauda was involved in a collision and fire at the Nurburgring that would change the course of his season and his life. Pulled from the wreckage by his fellow drivers he would suffer life-threatening damage to his lungs and burns that would leave him severely scarred. He miraculously returned to the cockpit just three races later and pushed James Hunt all the way in their battle for the championship.
Ferrari 312T2
Ferrari 312T2
9/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Lauda returned to the top step in 1977, winning the championship and once again combining with the 312T2 to deliver three wins and seven podiums.
Brabham BT46
Brabham BT46
10/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Deciding to leave Ferrari, Lauda joined Brabham for the 1978 season but with the team powered by the Alfa Romeo flat-12 engine its use of ground effect was limited.
Brabham BT46B
Brabham BT46B
11/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Brabham BT46B or fan car as it was more widely known, proved to be not only controversial but devastating in Lauda's hands during its one and only Grand Prix. He won the Swedish GP, taking the chequered flag 34 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Riccardo Patrese.
McLaren MP4-1
McLaren MP4-1
12/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Having retired from the sport with two races left in 1979 he was cajoled out of retirement by Ron Dennis for the 1982 season to partner John Watson at the revitalised McLaren outfit and was able to capture two victories.
McLaren MP4-2
McLaren MP4-2
13/13

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

1983 proved to be a transitional year, with McLaren switching from the DFV V8 to a TAG badged V6 twin turbo engine that would ultimately power the MP4-2. Now partnered with Alain Prost, the duo would have the closest title battle in F1 history in 1984, decided by just half a point in Lauda's favour. The MP4-2 had been the class of the field with only four victories not assigned to a McLaren driver and whilst Prost had seven victories and Lauda only five, the Austrian had been more consistent over the course of the season, picking up a further four seconnd place finishes.
shares
comments
F1 ramps up Hockenheim talks after Silverstone setback

Previous article

F1 ramps up Hockenheim talks after Silverstone setback

Next article

F1 driver market saga isn’t over yet - Grosjean

F1 driver market saga isn’t over yet - Grosjean
Load comments
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021