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Christopher Bruce0000-00-00 00:00:00

Niki Lauda Steps Down From Air Berlin to Focus on Mercedes

Lauda is a manager of the Mercedes F1 team

Lauda was three-time Drivers' Champion and also a successful business man

In September, Niki Lauda agreed to take a non-executive management role at the MercedesMercedes-BenzMercedes-BenzGermany, 1924 > present197 models
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F1 team. Now, he has stepped down from his board of directors position at Air Berlin to focus all of his energy on Mercedes. 

Before begin by hired officially by Mercedes, Lauda was negotiator for Mercedes in the new Concorde Agreement with Bernie Ecclestone. 

Officially, Lauda has the role of non-executive chairman of the team's board of directors. Ross Brawn is still team principal, but Lauda will be responsible for restructuring the staff

"Behind the scenes, we have assembled a team that is technically stronger, more experienced and better resourced, thanks to the support of Petronas and all of our loyal team partners," said Brawn. 

Mercedes is probably the team with the most pressure on it going into the new Formula 1 season. Mercedes motorsport director, Norbert Haug, stepped down as the season ended and took responsibility for the team's failings whether they were actually his fault or not. Lewis Hamilton will move to the team next year, and whether explicitly stated or not, he will be the team's primary driver. 

Mercedes was fifth in the constructors' championship in 2012, but had a 161-point deficit to LotusLotusLotusUnited Kingdom, 1952 > present68 models
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in fourth place. SauberSauberSauberSwitzerland, 1970 > present21 models
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was just 16 points away from beating the team on the constructors' championship. 

Lauda was Driver's World Champion in 1975,1977 and 1984. He founded his own airline, Lauda Air, in 1979 but did not start flights until 1985. He was the team principal at JaguarJaguarJaguarUnited Kingdom, 1922 > present53 models
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Formula 1 for part of 2001 and the entire 2002 season. However, at the end of the season, Ford fired him and 69 other team employees. After selling Lauda Air in 1999, he founded Niki, an airline owned by Air Berlin. 

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