Lauda wins Laureus award

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Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda and his wife Birgit pose on the red carpet before the Laureus World Sports 2016 Awards Ceremony in Berlin on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO

Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda and his wife Birgit pose on the red carpet before the Laureus World Sports 2016 Awards Ceremony in Berlin on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO

Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda of Austria was honored on Wednesday with the lifetime achievement award at this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards.

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Lauda, the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes AMG F1 team, received his award from defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton who is a member of the team.

He remains the only driver to have won world championships for both Ferrari and McLaren, the sport’s two most successful constructors.

Lauda, who still bears scars of a horrific fiery crash at the Nurburgring, Germany, in 1976, won the F1 championship in 1975, 1977 and 1984. He was actually read his last rites after the crash but went on to fiercely contest the 1976 championship with James Hunt of the United Kingdom six weeks after the crash. Lauda ended a close second in 1976 with one point separating him from Hunt.

His battle that season with James Hunt was turned into the major Hollywood movie, “Rush.”

Alongside Hamilton and Lauda, the Laureus World Sports Awards drew several stars from the world of F1, including current runaway championship leader Nico Rosberg, two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen and the Mercedes AMG F1 team.

Hamilton had made the six-man shortlist for Sportsman of the Year, a title that went to tennis world number one Novak Djokvoic, who reached all four Grand Slam finals and won three of them last year.

After winning three categories at least year’s FIA (International Automobile Federation) prize-giving gala, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen also missed out on another gong as golfer Jordan Spieth pipped him to the Breakthrough of the Year award.

THE TIMES

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