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 Niki Lauda 2

Lauda begins his book 'Protokoll' with the conversation at the end of his engagement at Ferrari. The number of three other people involved does not bode well for him. The number of three other people involved let him not suspect anything good. As usual with Ferrari, one could expect 'carrot and stick' again this time.

However, Lauda was not a child of sadness, never acknowledged the 'old man' as a god, nor addressed him in a similar way. But he was also in a bind because he had promised Enzo that he would drive for him as long as he lives. That was probably absolutely necessary because the second title as world champion in 1977 was in serious jeopardy.

But he didn't like the new team manager at all either. Neither did the old one because of 'his chaos, numerous blackouts and his tendency to great directing', but half of the position was filled by Roberto Nosetto, who had been at Ferrari for 20 years and the company had to be regarded as the 'complex of his life'.

In addition to his preference for exclusively green clothing, quite inappropriate to Ferrari's mandatory clothing, Lauda also mentioned the all-encompassing superstition that was probably related to this choice of color. Surprisingly, Lauda somehow got along with Carlos Reutemann as a competitor, but not with the deteriorating atmosphere in the team.

In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, Lauda felt obliged on his part to 'maintain the team’s full ability to work'. But he was also fed up with Ferrari at the same time. There was this Forghieri, friendliness personified when everything went well, but alas, if it didn't. He too easily blamed the drivers for bad lap times.

Then shortly before Watkins Glen, the third to last race of the 1977 season, Lauda's mechanic Ermanno Cuoghi was fired. His fault: when Ferrari called him that night, even after a conversation with his wife, he couldn't bring himself to make a binding declaration as to whether he was staying or not.

Niki Lauda is probably the only one who spoke normally with Ferrari, unless they were shouting once again. The others flattered the boss and gave him embellished lap times by phone. When Lauda asked Ferrari's son Piero to translate that Ferrari would never have become world champion without him, he refused.

But it was also amazing for Lauda's position that he saw himself as an 'equal partner'. So you can understand Ferrari's displeasure. Lauda was too hectic for him, too indeterminable. Maybe he was right when he criticized him because he hadn't recovered from the serious accident at the Nürburgring not long enough.

Then there would have been a very reasonable explanation for not achieving the world champion title in 1976. Instead, Lauda competed again after six weeks at Monza but missed out on the title by refusing to drive in heavy rain in Japan. Nevertheless, Enzo showed respect for Lauda's achievements, despite all the negative speeches in the press.

After all, after his first title as world champion, he managed to enforce his salary claim against Ferrari up to five percent. Whereas one has been paying relatively modestly for years. Before Lauda's time there was obviously only $450 and half the prize money.

A huge point of conflict for Lauda was the press. You hear a lot from stupid and downright insulting questions regarding his accident. The Italian press comes off particularly badly. Very often adding something that does not correspond to the matter. Ferrari is seen as the country's sports representative after football and cycling.

Almost worse is how much Ferrari follows the press, carefully archives articles and sometimes holds those affected in front of their noses. In addition, there is probably the whole kind of occasional disregard, sudden changes of mind on the part of the boss without any prior notice or justification. He also has the impression that the respective driver only counts in the event of success.

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