Lauda and TV channel argue over retainer

Niki Lauda (AUT). Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday 10 September 2011.
Niki Lauda

Jan.9 (GMM) It is possible Niki Lauda, the legendary triple world champion, will be absent from the Formula 1 paddock in 2012.

Blick newspaper reports that the 62-year-old, recently an expert television pundit, is yet to ink a new agreement with the German broadcaster RTL.

“I’m very optimistic,” the Austrian insisted, amid suggestions he is arguing with the channel’s sports boss Manfred Loppe over the size of his retainer.


Blick said DTM driver Ralf Schumacher, the former Williams and Toyota driver and brother of Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, is on pole position to succeed Lauda.