Many of the Formula 1 research campuses and factories are so big that they have decided to name the streets inside them, and Mercedes AMG PETRONAS is no exception.
The German team has decided to name one of its streets "Lauda Drive" in honour of three-time world champion Niki Lauda, who passed away in 2019. The Austrian joined Mercedes in 2012 and played a key role in getting Lewis Hamilton to join them for 2013.
The team's facility is located in Brackley and prior to honouring the Austrian driver, the road was called 'Reynard Park' after Adrian Reynard, who owned the land before Mercedes bought it. In order to reference the three-time champion, the team liaised with the local authorities as well as the driver's family.
Toto Wolff was keen to acknowledge Lauda's legacy to the sport and his team and stated the following:
“It’s a true honour to unveil Lauda Drive and it was great to see so many team members gather to watch the reveal,” said Mercedes' team principal. “While our dear friend and colleague Niki wouldn’t have wanted us to make a fuss, he would also be proud to have this road named after him. It was a privilege for all of us to work alongside him and I was lucky enough to call him one of my best friends. He was a massive contributor to our success, a great sparring partner for me and a strong non-executive chairman, who we miss dearly. I wish he was still here as my friend and as a chairman, because there would have been many questions I’d have liked to ask him this year. His legacy lives on in so many shapes and forms, but to know so many people will pass down Lauda Drive in the years to come is very special.”
It is no secret that, for both the team principal and the rest of the team members, having the Austrian present was an honour, as he not only represented a talented personality, but also gave them invaluable experience in his time there. He was a non-executive chairman before his passing three years ago.
After a season of under-performance, Mercedes could well use one of Lauda's most famous quotes: "From success, you learn absolutely nothing. From failure and setbacks, conclusions can be drawn".
💬 “I wish he was here, because there would have been many questions that I would have asked him this year.”— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 30, 2022
Niki, you may be gone, but you’ll forever be part of this family and our journey. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mztOmbyRUX