Remembering Niki Lauda, Decorated Formula One Driver and His Legacy

Niki Lauda with TIBCO's Murray Rode, Vice Chairman (left) and Thomas Been, Chief Marketing Officer
Niki Lauda with TIBCO's Murray Rode, Vice Chairman (left) and Thomas Been, Chief Marketing Officer

Niki Lauda, former Formula One driver and co-chairman of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team, passed away on May 20, 2019, at the age of 70. On behalf of TIBCO, we offer sympathies to Lauda’s friends, family, and our colleagues at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport around the globe.

His passion for the sport of Formula One driving was always evident to those around Lauda, whether he was behind the wheel, researching technology, or calling strategy from the side of the track. Acclaimed not only for his incredible racing skills but also his methodical approach to the mechanics of driving, Lauda earned himself the esteemed nickname ‘The Computer Brain’ by the press. He was constantly refining his technique, in a time when many of his contemporaries took a more ‘no-guts-no-glory’ approach on the racetrack.

That’s not to say Lauda lacked courage, he was fearless, exhibiting unwavering competitiveness on and off of the track—his will to persevere and his constant desire to embrace innovation went unmatched. In fact, Lauda’s sheer determination to win led him to what many consider to be the greatest comeback in motorsports history; during the 1976 season, Lauda sustained near-fatal injuries from a crash while racing at the Nürburgring. After missing only two races, he returned to the track to take second place in the championship behind long-time friend and rival driver James Hunt.

Lauda’s competitive spirit influenced his success on and off the track. Even after retiring from racing, he continued to be involved with F1 in a variety of capacities, most recently as a non-executive chairman of the board of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. He combined his passions for business and sport to aid in the rebuilding of legendary F1 brand Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, where many members of the team looked up to Lauda and regarded him as a mentor and friend, including former driver Michael Schumacher and current Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Lauda leaves behind a legacy that represents all that TIBCO and our customers strive to achieve. Dedication and resilience are the driving forces of our partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, and we are honored to have been in partnership with the team Lauda chose to commit himself to for the past two years. His love for the sport lives on in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team, and his passion will forever be remembered by those who know his story.