Over the weekend, Triple world champion Niki Lauda was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
Current Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda was presented with the award by Lewis Hamilton and actor Daniel Bruhl, who played the Austrian in the critically-acclaimed 2013 film Rush about the 1976 Formula One season. It was the year of Lauda’s close fight with James Hunt and horrific crash at the German Grand Prix, which left him with severe burns.
Lauda, who won the title in 1975, 1977 and 1984, said his award was a good reminder of the harder days he endured during his career.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lauda said the following about receiving the award as follows:-
‘Thank you very much for this award, I know it’s very important. But I want to say one thing, I’ve seen a lot of people here winning and losing. So I’d like to dedicate this award to the losers. Because I can tell from my own experience, winning is one thing, but out of losing I always learned more for the future. So one grows stronger in losing.
‘One thing that is really worrying me is the world is not turning in the right direction. But sport should be the best ambassador for the future generation to get us closer together again. This is really important for me.’
Tennis ace Novak Djokovic claimed the World Sportsman of the Year award, which Hamilton had been nominated for after his dominant 2015 success. Max Verstappen missed out on the Breakthrough of the Year award, which went to golf’s Jordan Spieth.