Lauda: Hamilton’s drive in Hungary was the best I’ve ever seen in my life

Lewis Hamilton with Niki Lauda

Lewis Hamilton with Niki Lauda

Hungarian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton has warmly welcomed the compliment made by former triple world champion and current Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda after the race in Budapest.

Having won his first race for Mercedes from pole since switching from McLaren, Hamilton’s drive was lauded by Lauda as “the best I’ve ever seen in my life”.

“We were not as quick as the Red Bull but Lewis really made it all up, especially the way he passed people. He was outstanding,” said the Formula 1 legend.

But two years ago, before Lauda decided to head-hunt the 28-year-old Briton from McLaren to replace Michael Schumacher, the outspoken Austrian had a vastly different opinion.

Lewis Hamilton during the Hungarian GP

Lewis Hamilton during the Hungarian GP

After one particularly incident-marred race in 2011, Lauda said of Hamilton: “You cannot drive like this – it will result in someone getting killed.”

So it’s for this reason that Hamilton so happily accepts Lauda’s Budapest praise.

“Coming from Niki Lauda, it’s a great compliment. I’m very happy [that] he’s said something like that,” Hamilton is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace.

“It’s crazy, because when I was at McLaren, he didn’t know me and he had a very different opinion. Now [that] we spend a lot of time together and his opinion has changed a lot,” the Briton added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • dimitris

    OK Nikki, I know you have to encourage the troops, but do not overdo it. It was a good or even a very good drive, but the poleman in any race is expected to win it, provided his tyres hold up. The tyres did hold up and Lewis won. Top drivers are expected to do just that. As simple as that.

  • realf1fan

    Lauda don’t you know that Lewis is the quickest in F1 and in equal cars I would put him against any driver in any era whether it be Clark,Senna,Fangio,Moss Fittipaldi,Peterson,Jones Andertti.

    I wont mention Schumacher as he has been done by Alonso and Nico drivers who Hamilton has and is beating .


  • batloun_76

    Than if you think like that, don’t Mention Senna cos he was beatin by Schumacher in 1992 and 1994 before he was Killed…it seems you simply adore Hamilton .

  • Boycottthebull

    Another laughable Lauda lament! Come on Kimis driving holding off Vettel on nackered tyres was far more impressive so too Webbers more than once drive through the field to the front because Red Bull doctor his car. Im happy Mercedes won and beat Red Bull I really am, but Best drive ever? Come on this was just a basic win it wouldnt even qualify within the top 100 drives in history.

  • Lauda just trying to divert attention from Mercheates

    This is nothing more than Lauda trying to divert attention from the cheating Mercheates got away with this year.

    Before Mercheates did their illegal test they were not in the picture, after the illegal test Mercheates is all of the sudden unbeatable.

    Sadly the FIA bowed down and allowed Mercheates to get away with their illegal test with only a small slap on the wrist because Mercheates threatened to pull out of Formula One.

    This is why having manufactures involved is bad they can threaten to pull out to get their way.

    Mercheates (Mercedes) reputation has forever been tarnished.

  • batloun_76

    What about Ferrari test in france those 3 days???

  • realf1fan

    @Lauda just trying to divert attention from Mercheates

    Ross did seek clarification regards the test and two FIA members said that they could run the 2013 car because the test was a Pirelli test and not a teams test.

    And tribunal did say that the Mrecs team was not being underhanded as they had contacted the FIA.

    Hardly cheating.

  • JM

    Well why were the drivers wearing black unmarked helmets then? There’s an admission of guilt right there.

  • Top Gear

    It was a good drive, but mansell, senna, schumacher and even Damon hill (suzuka 94) raised themselves above their mortal status and had races that caused goosebumps. Hammie’s race would good, very good, but nowhere near the best ever.

  • grat

    @realf1fan: Don’t bother, mercheates’ hatred of Mercedes knows no bounds. Reality has nothing to do with his unending ranting, because he apparently knows more than the FIA International Tribunal.

    @dimitris: Since 2005, Hungary has been won from pole three times… all by Lewis Hamilton. Historically, 4th seems to be the place to start the Hungarian GP from.

  • batloun_76

    Schumacher spa 1995.. anyone remember??or spain 1996 or suzuka 2000 or brasil 2006….and list never end…what would we call those races??unreal??

  • Plops


    The drivers wore black helmets and the cars were black too to hide the test, oh wait no they were not. The cars were painted as Merc 2013 cars, the thing that might have been illegal. But the drivers can drive whatever car they want so having them there was not illegal. So black helmets to hide the drivers suddenly made the cars invisible? Yeah right. Good one idiot!

  • dimitris


    In that case. drivers should make sure they start from the back of the grid or at most the midfield. Their chances at winning are better!!!

    I will concede to Lauda, however, the fact that he may have totally different criteria for judging the performance of a driver.

  • dimitris

    By te way, I like Lewis and I think he is a great driver.

  • KC

    Mercedes boss praises Mercedes driver. Stop the presses, this is a big news story!

  • KC

    “And tribunal did say that the Mrecs team was not being underhanded as they had contacted the FIA.”

    The tribunal found Mercedes guilty of conducting illegal in-season testing. That little facts seems to be getting swept under the rug.

  • Hawk

    No. Austin, Texas 2012 was a better drive.

  • Hawk

    Frankly speaking I have never seen Nico R race that’s why these guys were exhilarated. Did you see Wolff after the race? He was running all over the place like a small boy.
    Racers Class A: Lewis, Alonso, Vettel ONLY.
    Racers Class B: Romain, Sergio,..

  • Shades

    It’s time to give credit where credit’s due. Hard to deny that this was the drive of the season, and comparable to any of Hamitlon’s 2008 wins. Maybe we’ll be talking about this one in 2014 when it’s all said and done but let’s not get carried away. Can’t wait for the season to return.


  • KevinW

    One race win and Lewis is now transformed? Give us a break. Vettel closed a 12s+ gap to Kimi with a busted wing and a goofy KERS system… Had Kimi pitted he would have landed 4th, and Vettel would have been closing the gap to Hamilton in the closing laps. Kimi succeeded by shear will on bad tires – with no chance to challenged for the win. Lewis benefited from restricted passing more than he did on a great drive – Vettel got hung behind cars with higher MPH at corner approach (a Red Bull liability), but poorer cornering performance ( Red Bull strength) – which was further aggravated by track width and layout working against the bulls more than anything to do with Hamilton superior skill. It was a very good run to be sure, and a deserved win – he made no mistakes, nor did Merc for him – but hardly something that will be recorded as a superior race performance – as it really wasn’t, sorry Nikki. As the season is finished, Lewis will land his regular season 4th and Merc will have screwed the pooch and wrecked his chances to do more – as that is what it does so consistently.

  • KC

    “Hard to deny that this was the drive of the season”

    Get a grip man! Why do so many people completely lose their minds whenever Hamilton wins a race?

    The “drive of the season”? I can think of a few better candidates, like Kimi’s 7th to 1st in Australia, or Vettel in Germany, or in Montreal, or Alonso in Spain.

  • Top Gear

    Vettel is a great driver, not a great racer. Im pretty sure thats been established. I thought Lewis drove his best in 2009, when the mclaren was a disappointment

  • F1NeedsMoreSpeed

    Takes a great driver to stir up so many negative comments from non fans. Get used to it :D

  • Hawk

    Do you mean Vettel had a better drive? Wc race did you watch? Hamilton took Button in just 2 laps after pitstop wc Vettel failed to do in 10 laps with as you put it a faster car and older Button tyres. One would be forgiven for calling it a conspiracy. Vettel does not have Lewis’ and Alonso’s overtaking skills, admit. But who can blame him? It’s getting used to such a fantastic car wc leads from pole.

  • Tom Riddle

    I like Hamilton as a driver but I think Niki must have had his happy pills that day. I’ve seen Lewis drive better. Raikonnen drove a better race in Hungary.

  • realf1fan

    @Hawk totally right Vettel struggled to pass Button in a faster car and three times the Mercedes strategists brought Lewis out into traffic and Lewis was able to put race winning passes on them, real top drawer performance. Lets hope Mercs can have sorted out their tire problem.

    As for Vettel it is hard for a driver to make good passes when he has spent most of his career getting pole in the quickest car and just driving away from the rest on race day.

  • Elf

    You talk nonsense always. Watch all cars’s speed graph, it is published on other sites. On straights Vettel was fried, his engine and breaks too hot, front wing damaged, different car design. The best car is always in front, that is common sense. Half of f1 drivers can be champions with performant car.

  • Top Gear

    Always an excuse for Miss Vettel. Pretty sure I saw Mark Webber pass quite a few people……

  • KC

    “Vettel is a great driver, not a great racer. Im pretty sure thats been established.”

    It takes more than you writing the same drivel under a dozen different user names to “establish” something. There are a lot of different skills which go into being a great F1 race car driver. Vettel obviously possesses those skills to a greater degree then others – look at his results.

  • KC

    “Takes a great driver to stir up so many negative comments from non fans.”

    Yes, but that’s enough about Vettel, let’s get back to Hamilton!

  • YODA B

    Hamilton is going to kick ass for the rest of the year!
    There’s no one on the grid better.
    I’m glad i don’t have hear or see BUTTON or
    WHITTMARSH making excuses. Excuses are like a
    bad cold. sooner or later everyone gets it. Hamilton
    playing second fittel to Button was a disaster. Kimi is
    a joke. The only other guys ON IT are GROSJEAN and
    ROSSBERG. All you HAMILTON nae-sayers get ready for broken HEARTS!!!

  • Top Gear

    @ KC

    I’m only top gear, no one else.

    Don’t avoid the facts: vettel has trouble overtaking when Webber doesn’t. Vettel is faster, but is hopeless when racing is required.